here’s another great post from Patrick at spiritualriver on how to re-invent ourselves in recovery.
his number one suggestion for building a strong foundation in early recovery is to attend an in-patient rehab. this is a tricky one because in itself I believe it creates a barrier to getting sober. if you had said this to me when I was contemplating sobriety or in the early days I would have been so discouraged. because it just did not fit in with my life. and it may be that it can only do so when your outer life is sufficiently crumbling to justify it to yourself? and although it might have given a flying start to my recovery it was just too big a barrier to overcome.
his number two suggestion is – guess what? yes. ask people for help and feedback. aa. sober online communities. whatever floats your boat. and to do this on an ongoing basis.
‘Anyone can figure out the secret to sobriety: Don’t drink. But the alcoholic has a much bigger problem–what happens when you take the alcohol away? They go crazy. They cannot stand themselves. They live in fear, have anxiety. They are not comfortable in their own skin. They have a million and one problems that need to be medicated away.
So how does the alcoholic learn to live inside of their own skin? How do they figure out how to be OK with being sober? The question is not “how do I not drink?” That’s easy. Just don’t drink. The problem is: How do I live with myself now that I am sober all of a sudden and feel like I am going crazy?
I think that you need help from other people in order to tackle this particular problem. You need to relate to other people in some way.’
And then as our sobriety time increases it becomes about taking care of ourselves holistically in five ways:
this is such a great list! (me and lists. yes, I know. my ultimate addiction. don’t ask me to give up those babies.) Patrick refers to this checklist often in his posts and it has been a really helpful focus for me. He finishes by saying:
‘Recovery lasts a long time. And your daily habits are a multiplier. So what happens is that you plant these seeds of success, and they become daily habits. Positive habits. And then it snowballs. Over months, years, decades – those positive habits start to multiply. Exponentially.
Really, the effect is astounding when you are clean and sober and putting in the work. Just a few weeks can make a big difference.
Just a few years can change your whole life. A complete transformation from misery and despair to peace, contentment, and gratitude.’
The photo at the top of this post is of the first Sungold tomatoes from the seeds I planted in March and blogged about here.
and yes, I did eat them both all by myself. taking care of myself physically, don’t you know 🙂