70 days clean and sober today. I’m choosing a holistic approach to recovery which includes attention to all apsects of my being: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
To this end I’m doing a tremendous amount of reading about all of these aspects with an eye out to avoid anything that promises a quick-fix or an instant cure, anything that’s too far-out spiritually (which I’ve gotten into trouble with in the past), or anything that only addresses one aspect of the problem.
Physically, I’m doing a few practical things that easily fit into my daily life. I’m making sure that I get vegetables and fruit every day and I take a few vitamins and minerals that seem to be especially helpful, tried and true for people recovering from addiction: a multi-vitamin, extra B-12, B-complex and C, D3, milk thistle, calcium, omega-3 and an amino acid complex. Exercise is something I definitely need to improve upon, but I get some exercise in my job and on my day’s off I try to at least get a walk in.
Mentally, as mentioned, I’m doing a lot of reading, writing here and journaling. I’m also exploring options for getting back into school (it’s never too late!) and into a meaningful career.
Emotionally, I’m attending an after-care group once a week where I can be honest about all my feelings, I participate on a very supportive recovery e-mail list, I write here, and I’ve decided to re-enter therapy.
Spiritually, I daily express and feel gratitude for my life, for my recovery, my home, my friends, my food. I keep a medicine bag with me at all times with my sobriety rocks that symbolize air, fire, earth and water and a beautiful little heart-backed turtle which is a worry-stone and a reminder to take it easy.
I continue to use Charlotte Kasl’s 16 steps as my foundational program and am focusing on a few of the steps, especially step 10: We continue to trust our reality and daily affirm that we see what we see, we know what we know, and we feel what we feel;; step 12: We seek out situations, jobs, and people that affirm our perceptions, intelligence and self-worth and avoid situations or people who are hurtful, harmful, or demeaning to us; and step 9: We express love and gratitude to others, and increasingly appreciate the wonder of life and the blessings we do have.
My weekly recovery inventory helps me assess what I’m doing each week and how helpful or not it is to me. I’m still attending some AA meetings, and find that the main benefit of this is that I’m doing something concrete for my own recovery. I often leave feeling judged because I’m not doing it “their” way, confused that these supposedly open-minded people are actually so close-minded, and angry at their smugness and superiority. I have every intention of starting my own alternative meetings when I reach 6 month’s of sobriety.
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