before a man
beyond the veil
within this space
before a man
beyond the veil
within this space
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 whatever situation is 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. My Youtube Channel has over 85 meditations you can choose from.
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?
Today I celebrate one year in recovery! One year ago today I walked into probation to do my weekly check in. That day the officer did not say “See you next week.”
No, she said “We have a problem.” My ex accomplished her mission; get me into jail. I spent 5 months there, contemplating drinking finally without her madness.
Then I decided I would transition to a VA Treatment Program. I finally realized I could never pick up again. That drinking had ruined my life and would continue to do so unless I stopped.
I spent two months at that program. I began to confront my emotions. I began to learn about mindfulness, gratitude, acceptance, spirituality. I began to write this blog, I began to meditate.
It wasn’t always easy. I looked around me at Vets would seemed to brag about relapsing over and over again. They would compare the number of times they had been to detox.
Not all of them, of course, but many. I judged them at first. Then I learned from them and took to heart the reasons for relapse. I dealt with life on life’s terms. I went to AA a few times, but for me my Recovery would become a private affair.
I then transitioned to a more lenient VA program. I remained there for 3 months. During that time I learned more how to manage my emotions. I learned that drinking really wasn’t my problem; it was how I managed all my pain and emotions that was.
I learned, through my work with paralyzed vets, gratitude and service to others. Those vets helped me to come out of my shell a little. I learned how to live in the NOW, after reading The Power Of Now by Echart Tolle. I continued to practice meditation, which truly helped keep me centered and focused. But living life on life terms really helped me deal with all the hiccups in life.
Still homeless I chose to transition to something similar to a sober house, where I am today.
Many of you know I do not really have anyone in my life. I have a father who I have called once when I first left jail, and I have an elderly Aunt that I do talk to once in awhile. You also know I am not very adept at making friends, but here at my new place I am making strides.
That being said sometime towards the end of February I met a woman who would become my best friend and one true love. I have not disclosed who this is because she is a member of our community and her privacy is very important to me. I will if she tells me she is comfortable with that.
Anyway, this woman has taught me what it means to be a true friend. She has been so supportive of me that I actually feel like I am finally home; that I can be my true self! She has been there for me thorough everything. Even though she is dealing with her own life, she has proven herself to be an incredible friend. She is a huge part of my recovery; of my growth and maturity.
Over time we have developed a bond I cannot even describe. I want to avoid cliches! We have a life plan, she is my friend. She is my partner in life. She is everything I have ever desired in a person, let alone a woman. Everyday I feel lucky, so very lucky to have her in my life. And I am deeply in love with her! Trust me when I say that I never knew what love was until her!
Today I celebrate one year of recovery. It can be done! This is my first effort in 36 years to recover! With a deep commitment to yourself and survival you can do it! If you know anyone who is suffering, please, share my story. Perhaps it might help them.
And finally, I want to thank you, all my dear members of this community who have shown me love and support. I just want you to know you have also helped me, more than you know. Thank you so very much!
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