I believe with all my heart, that a person in recovery must keep growing mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically, in order to be happily sober.
Sometimes in reading and thinking about the many aspects of recovery, I can get a little self-absorbed. When Mr. UnTipsy gets home, he gets to hear about all I have learned reading your blogs, books, and what I learned at my meetings! (Lucky him!)
But without growth in all areas of our lives, we just won't learn what made us drink, and how we can make life better for us and our loved ones. And we will stay stuck in a story of unhappiness.
Each day, life gives me some tests.
When I am sick, life asks me to be patient.
When I don't do things I need to, life asks me to be responsible.
When I am scared, life asks me to trust.
When I am lonely, life asks me to reach out to someone.
When I am tired from sitting, life asks me to move.
Being patient when I am sick, is very hard for me. I get sick often, and it isolates me.
And yet, I am learning that I can be alone and not lonely. I am learning that maybe I can't go to yoga for several weeks, but I can walk on my treadmill. This too will pass.
Being responsible is another area that can be hard for me, especially in terms of self-care. I put off calling the doctors, getting a massage or a pedicure. I put off running errands. I had no problems being responsible when it came to teaching. But now, I often don't do things that would make me feel better, or tasks that I need to.
Trusting God, or in the order of things, would help me when I get scared. I often think I will always be sick, always have this problem or that, and I get anxious about many things. I am still learning to be trusting, that somehow things will work out. They always do.
Now that I am retired, it is harder to build connections with people. So I can get lonely, or feel lonely. My family doesn't live close to me. But life asks me to reach out to people, first. It asks me to call someone, text someone, send an e-mail. This never fails to make me feel better!
Life asks me to move. Sitting around reading is nice, but my heart, body, mind and soul is happier when I walk. Walking with Mr. UnTipsy is a way we connect with each other, and we try to do that several times a week. Walking by myself sometimes seems lonely, but I am being asked to do just that. It is the connection with nature that I seek.
All of this must be done with self-compassion. I will not continue to make growth if I am angry at myself all of the time. I am human. I can't be perfect. I am working on being gentle with myself.
This week I was sick, but I made commitments to meet friends and kept them.
I found out I didn't need a lot of energy to get dressed and go out for a couple of hours. I didn't worry about what I wore. I didn't worry about anything but enjoying my friends' company.
Looking back, I didn't even think about drinking or not drinking.
I just don't drink, so it didn't enter my thoughts.
It is my responsibility to take care of my life.
This is very hard to do at times, but if I don't, who will?
And if not now, when?
On Day 475