Some of the stuff I’m going to share with you today has been my recovery experience which has helped me stay sober. If you can get anything out of it, I hope so. One of the main things I want to tell you is that I went to treatment myself and before I left treatment there were aftercare suggestions that they want me to abide by and live by.
One of those suggestions was being a part of a 12-step program, which is great, and I want to tell you that being a part of 12-step program gives you a place to go where you can find safety. A place where you can find a new network of people to be with. You know, sober people, losing all the people places and things we used to do. All those old behaviors start to change. We start to change. We start to grow. Being involved in a 12-step program is part of supporting that and being there.
You also find a sponsor and finding a sponsor, you find somebody that you can trust. You find somebody that has what you want, that you think that you might be able to walk through the steps with. One of the most important things in a 12-step program is finding that sponsor. Finding a good sponsor sets the stage personal growth. Working with a sponsor, you will uncover a lot of things like resentments and fears. It also gives us an opportunity to clean our house by making amends and having a spiritual awakening and being of service to alcoholics. You still suffer, don’t get me wrong, but it’s a whole lot better than before.
We learned all this and a lot of that in treatment. While working with the sponsor we choose, it brings us to self-care. We want to get our “spiritual house” in order and a lot of people have different ways that they engage in their own personal spiritual growth. I like prayer meditation. I like doing the third step, 7 step, 11 step prayers every day.
I like going for long walks early in the morning. Sometimes with my dog, sometimes with my wife, sometimes with both. Some people like to meditate in front of mountains or out in the desert, whatever works for you. What’s most important is to get ourselves centered.
In the morning, have some kind of balance and move forward into the day. A lot of people, if you’re like me, will wake up restless, irritable and discontent and the only way out of that is to get spiritually plugged in. Some people like to read meditation books. You can find all kinds of meditation books in whatever 12-step program you’re in. I enjoy the Daily Reflections when I read in the morning. It’s a popular AA Book that many people read first thing in the morning. I also enjoyed Just For Today, which is the equivalent but a part of the NA program. If you open the book and go to any page in one of those books, you will find that whatever you read will not only stimulate you mentally, but also spiritually. It’s always good to start the day out on that plane.
I like to go to a meeting almost every day for myself. I started out my treatment going to 90 meetings in 90 days and it ended up being years of going to a meeting every day. That, as far as I’m concerned, saved my life. If you’re an alcoholic or addict like me, the disease does not go away. It never goes away. This recovery business is constant work. Sobriety is daily work. It gets easier after a while, but as long as we stay plugged into that same program and stay diligent about what we are spiritually, then we can continue to move forward in recovery.
A lot of times, what I find in self-care, is exercise. I love to exercise and while in recovery I go to the gym almost every day. I have friends that I go to the gym with. We laugh, cry, carry on and inspire one another while working out together. We also practice good nutrition. My health is very important to me these days.
It’s also important to have fun and to plug into that sober network of people. Find five people that you can go out and do things with. One of the biggest fears that I had was if I got sober how am I going to have fun. Well, I found out that the fun is tenfold when I’m sober. You find that you can do some of the same things you did before, but do those things sober. Things like going to concerts. Things change when you’re sober. Your senses are alive. You go to the movies, the beach and other fun places. In the programs of AA and NA, they have conventions that are a lot of fun yearly. We have all kind of sober volleyball barbecues and more. There’s so much fun stuff to do out there. If you’re a procrastinator or if you’re someone who gets bored, get up off the couch, get out of the house and make sure you go out there and plug into some of these people that are after having fun in recovery. There’s plenty of things that are always offered if you go to a meeting. You hear announcements all the time on sober fun and if you have the opportunity to volunteer, I suggest you do that!
You know being of service is one of the ways that we keep this program. Everything that we’ve worked for, everything that we’ve moved forward, the passion that we put into creating our foundation can be solidified by being in service and giving it away. You can only keep what you give away!
These have been some of the recovery tips that helped me stay sober each and every day. Everybody has their own individual way of walking through recovery and I hope that you’ve got something out of this blog post. My hope is that some of these tips will help you stay clean & sober today!