After clearing my throat chakra of a message I’ve been choking on for months, I feel free to write. Inspired to write. Eager to write. All in an effort to help someone — I think I said “three” someones a couple of posts ago.
It made perfect sense, then, to grab for my old journal this morning and thumb through the pages. A lot of stuff there. My last few months prior to getting sober this last time really included some dark moments: auto accidents, blackouts, meth relapses … the shit was just crazy.
What I know now that I didn’t know then is that each relapse is a learning experience and the pages of my old journal are covered with a wealth of information on how to recover. Since I was never sober for long, it includes quite a few bounce backs from relapses and exactly what I used to get right.
I’m not one to go on and on about a subject so like most posts, this is the down and dirty lean version. If I can insert a quick plug though –there are some great blogs out there that really give an eloquent beautifully written option if you have the time; may you find them now.
For me, I found that when I was ready for change I needed quick easy to obtain solutions. Like ‘just tell me what I need to do to start feeling better and let me do it’.If you’re anything like the alcoholic/addict I was, you’re at a point in your addiction where you just want to live. You’re ready to listen to someone who knows where you’ve been and knows how to crawl out the hole you find yourself in.
Here’s a mash up of what I did when I relapsed and was seriously ready to get sober:
Reading Material: No need to start with A Course In Miracles just yet. There were three books that helped. They just had what I needed and I clung to their words with hopeful desperation. The Fat Flush Plan, The Slight Edge and The Ultimate Happiness Prescription. Uno, Dos, Tres. I’ll admit with The Flat Flush Plan I only read the first 49 pages, but I read them over and over. They’re just that good. They gave me a basic easy to follow detox for my liver and gave me a simple explanation of what my body needed and why. Follow what’s there verbatim for immediate results. The Slight Edge became my daily goto for inspiration and motivation. Simple steps repeated over time is the theme. Don’t sleep on it. It’s got the goods. And finally, The Ultimate Happiness Prescription is Deepak at his simple best. It offers seven steps toward happiness, spoke to my broken soul and gave me a flicker of fire.
Meditation: Simple. Andrew Johnson. If you haven’t checked him out yet, do so. I had meditated before I discovered him but quickly fell in love with his easy to follow guided meditations. Even as early as day 1 he became my source of comfort. As someone, who suffered from insomnia, I ended each day with him. Even though I was taking sleeping pills at first it was his voice that rocked me to sleep. He is the truth and you will begin to feel better immediately — I promise.
Journaling: This simple but hard to do exercise in self-discovery is a must. Buy a moleskin so you’ll feel cool writing about your demons. And the slick little elastic band makes you feel like your thoughts are safe and secure.
Supplements: I wrote an entire blog on the absolute importance and value of supplements here. I think I listed the eight supplements my spiritual guides and mentors used to detox me. I can’t stress enough the value they played in my overall recovery process.
Exercise: You’ve heard it said that the best obsession to replace addiction is exercise. I hired a trainer because I couldn’t motivate myself and I wanted so badly to eliminate the tire around my waste. I recommend that route if you can afford it and if you’re local you can’t go wrong with Gold Coast Aesthetics. John is the absolute best and he has virtual training options as well. Otherwise use Maxworkout for an effective program.
AA Meetings: I am not an AA Big Book thumper. That being said, I needed AA; especially in the beginning. The “rooms” kept me honest. I knew that I had other people that I could gather with each day that were doing what I was attempting to do. Kinda like the whole “honor among thieves” expression, I didn’t want to let my group down. Evening meetings gave me something to look forward to and I kept regular meetings early on. Some people build their entire recovery around AA and hey, whatever works is what works. For me it’s just one tool in the tool box, but it’s always there and it’s reliable.
Routine: Develop a routine around this list and stick to it. Even if you don’t work it’s enough to keep you busy. If you do work, you’ll be exhausted if you fit most of what I’ve outlined in your day.
The first few days and weeks of sobriety are awful. Lonely. Emotional. Unnerving. I cried and laughed hysterically when I finally got sober. I had to un-learn old habits and establish new ones. And I had to do it for myself. No one could do it for me.
Recovering from a relapse is a self love test. It’s a solo gig.
And it sucks. But it’s day one…again.
Be happy for another again.