Isolating kept me in the grips of my alcoholism. I stopped giving care to the many aspects that sober folks participate in on a regular basis. Add to that boredom, and my recipe for almost daily disaster was ready for the oven.
For me to stay sober today, I want to create what I’ll call an Umbrella of Wellness. If I can surround myself with people, places, and things that will get me out of my head and participating in life, then I know that I will enjoy lifelong recovery.
Some people in recovery only focus on one or two ways to keep them sober. Often, I have heard Veteran’s talk about burying themselves in work, overdoing it with the 12-Step meetings; putting something ahead of their sobriety. Invariably, many of these Veterans have experienced relapse after relapse after relapse. When they put something, anything, even one thing, ahead of their sobriety invariably they took the fall.
This is my first attempt at sobriety. I am sometimes chastised for “not knowing the rules,” “not understanding how it works.” Really? I don’t need to relapse 5 or 6 times to realize: I can no longer pick up! Plain and simple. Well, how do I plan on accomplishing this seemingly dauntless task?
I have learned there are many avenues to creating an Umbrella of Health:
- Family–reaching out and staying close to loved ones.
- Sober Folks–creating a new Social Network with like-minded individuals.
- Spirituality–working with my “Higher Power” on a daily basis. As I understand him.
- Hobbies–doing things, that give me peace, tranquility, and happiness.
- Volunteerism–reaching without out enriches me within.
- Meditation–this is my #1 priority, meditate daily!
- Treatment–in whatever form, outpatient therapy, group therapy, will keep me grounded.
- Physical Activities–maximize my body’s potential will strengthen me!
- Nutrition & Sleep–getting the right kind of both strengthens me to the core.
- Knowledge–renewing my interest in learned things will keep me engaged.
The above list represents everything I haven’t been involved on a regular basis throughout my life. I used alcohol to avoid my problems, self-medicate, to isolate and condemn me. If I can cover myself with this broad Umbrella of Wellness, then man the sky is the limit!
There is nothing wrong with sobriety in moderation. John Ciardi