Getting and staying sober can seem like a lot to the newcomer, and sometimes we forget about all the joys that come with it. For example, being surrounded by a group of loving and compassionate people who have been through the same feelings and experiences that we have. We are told from the very beginning of our journey to “stick with the winners” and this is what that means and why you should do it.
It’s a new month, and as is now our custom, we have a list post for you! Of course, there are dozens of benefits not listed, so please share some you have noticed from your practice.
Enabling in many ways looks like supporting, but it differs in one main aspect. To enable someone is to protect them from experiencing the full weight of the consequences for their actions. This may sound like what we should do for our loved ones, protect them from the possibility of pain, but when it comes to addiction, this proves to be more hurtful than helpful.
When I hear someone say something like “keep trudging” or use some form of that word, I pretty much know that person is one of us. Based on the often-read and repeated passage from the Big Book “… and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the Road of Happy Destiny.” I feel a kindred connection when I hear it, and if possible I like to make eye contact – wink, nod.
Exhaustion is a state of being that most moms understand all too well, even if they are not dealing with addiction or recovery therefrom. We have been conditioned to believe that we need to be able to be and do everything…work, raise children, keep a neat and tidy house, be involved in the children’s schoolwork and extracurricular activities and be a seductress in the bedroom. Wonder Woman incarnate. We get tired just thinking about it. Exhaustion affects us physically, mentally and emotionally. And we always seem to put ourselves last.
One of my loved ones, a normie who met me after I began navigating the road of recovery, noticed a 6-pack of beer in my fridge one day that hadn’t been there the day before. It aroused curiosity (and I later learned some anxiety.) I explained that I bought it for some beer-drinking company I was expecting. That was the end of it for me, but my love admitted to periodically peeking to see if anything had changed with the 6-pack status.
For the past 7 months I have been “abstinent” in Overeaters Anonymous. I define that abstinence by not adding sugar to what I eat, not eating something in which one of the first three ingredients is sugar, and not bingeing on food. I have been nicotine free following a 12-Step program for some 18 years. In one week I will be sober in Alcoholics Anonymous for 32 years. What does all of this really mean?
I know better than to judge others. But I often feel those of us working a program in recovery are higher up the food chain than others who stay asleep to the wonder of it all. I do think we are certainly more evolved – a better way to put it… I am thankful for the dark depths of addiction that made the light of sobriety so much brighter.