One of the hardest parts of sobriety for me, personally, has been learning how to be living in the now; in the present and less in the past or the future.
I can spend hours worrying about what is going to happen two years or two months or two weeks from today, while I let the beauty of the present slip by without notice. This is a common issue for many of us in sobriety, we easily get lost in our past or our futures and forget to just be, to allow the gift that is the here and now to be the focus in our lives. Luckily there are many ways to help us live in the now, and by practicing staying present, we slowly but surely will come to do so naturally.
In the midst of the whirlwind that is getting a child into treatment, finding resources to get them help, selecting a good place, convincing them to get help and then nervously monitoring their progress, parents forget to do one of the most important things of all: self care.
The Serenity Prayer is used in recovery worldwide. In 12 Step recovery, we close out our meetings with it, and in times of strife and struggle often refer back to it's comforting words. Let's break down the serenity prayer today and discuss what it really means, for the more that we understand, the better we can put it to use.
There are many styles of meditation and chanting enhances the 11th step of Alcoholics Anonymous in a way that is indescribable. Communing with the divine burns away years of negative thinking and old behavior patterns and replaces them with a sense of faith and comfort.
In today’s day and age, maintaining healthy balance in one’s life is incredibly challenging. Between work, family obligations, hobbies, social activities and educational opportunities, we are all spread dangerously thin. Add to that the fact that smartphones make us accessible 24/7 and our free time becomes even more compromised.
Addiction does not just wreak havoc on the addict - it leaves a trail moral wreckage in it's wake. In addiction we may steal, lie, cheat, and totally disregard the needs and emotions of the people around us. We may even purposefully dole out pain to others, wanting everyone else to be as miserable as we are. And then we get sober...and all of that wreckage and hurt and destruction we caused does not disappear just because we have stopped using. So what happens next? How do we start to repair the bridges we burned and the people we spurned?
Addiction can often be considered a silent disease: families do not commonly share about their loved one's plight and news stories rarely focus on addicts passing away due to overdoses. Similar to mental health diseases, addiction is a taboo subject, something to be hidden and swept under the rug. We have to open up on this tough subject, we have to discuss it and take away it's power. It is the things which we keep hidden which have the most strength to bring us down.
While AA is an incredible gift designed by Bill Wilson and the early writers of the Big Book to treat alcoholism and the disease of addiction, it tends to focus more on mental and spiritual recovery, not so much on how to address the unresolved physical issues left in it's wake such as depression, anxiety, or other mental health ailments.