With just over 14 months sober, I can honestly tell you life as I used to know it is dead and buried. Goodbye chaos. Goodbye troubles. Goodbye anxiety, exhaustion, worry. I know have peace of mind in my life. I can now approach difficult situations with a level head. I don’t get too up or too down.
I have a pause button–fuck I could have used that 36 years ago. So how did I do it? Why was it fairly easy for me to turn my back on booze and walk into “normalcy?” I am so glad you asked! I thought I would list five tips that have been highly effective in maintaining my recovery.
Control Those Emotions–When you are able to keep your emotions in check, the likelihood of you wanting to go out and bash your head into a bottle of vodka are slim. Never getting too up, or too down, an even-keeled approach to life keeps you stable and in control.
Nip It In The Bud–Life is going to deal you hand after shitty hand. If one of them gets out of control–resentments, problem with another human, depression, anxiety over a topic–nip it in the bud! Confront situations causing you instability and deal with it, asap! Burying emotions or situations is going to cause you problems as issues and situations build up.
Find What Works and Work It–Are 12 step meetings your thing? Perhaps your religion? How about meditation, reading, writing, singing, dancing, walking, hiking…you get the idea. Find what works for you and keeps you in that happy place and work it! Do it, and I mean frequently! Don’t go overboard, of course, but do the activities that give you pleasure, keep you grounded.
Meditate, Meditate, Meditate—Did I mention MEDITATE? I am guilty of not doing this as much as I should. But I will tell you, the benefits of meditation are so numerous, I am surprised it is not practiced in every school in this country.
Start off with just 5 minutes a day, then build up to over 30 minutes. You will thank me a thousand times over.
One Day At A Time–12 Step meetings may not be my thing, but boy are their slogans dead on! Yes, living each day for itself will keep you from biting off more than you can chew. It will keep you from languishing in the past, and worrying about the future. We only have today, embrace it and stay sober. JUST FOR TODAY. Want more great slogans? GO HERE! AND HERE!
Well, there you have it. There have been other things that have helped me stay sober, but these five principles have been my bedrock. They have been my go to ways of living and today I can honestly use the word happy in my vocabulary. What has kept you in recovery?