Pretty much every recovering addict knows about 12-step meetings, sponsorship, working the steps, and going to therapy. And much of the time those tools are enough to establish and maintain early sobriety. Over time, however, addicts inevitably encounter situations where those highly useful forms of support are not available. In such cases, it is wise to have at least a few other tools of sobriety on which to rely.
Radical acceptance is an alternative to labeling situations, things, or people as “good” and “bad.” It’s settling into the space that opens up when we stop reacting so strongly to outcomes. This space for me takes the form of my thoughts, breathing, and sight slowing to a pace where I can take in and touch the sense of immense beauty and wonder in the world: the breeze against the trees, a smile on my loved ones face, opportunity that can come from loss, and the little things to be grateful for throughout my busy days.
If you are, or were, a 12-Stepper, you know that the 12-Steps of Recovery start off in a kinda “Think-ey” way. But, it’s a trap! That’s how they getcha. They ease you into it and then — BOOM. They hit you with Step 4, hard, like a cast iron skillet to the head. Working Step 4 (a rigorously honest moral inventory), things get pretty action oriented . . .
As I boarded an American Airlines flight at LaGuardia airport, I realized I had not been on an airplane since a few days after 9/11 (September 20, 2001). Now, my niece in Miami was getting married, and I was invited to be included in the wedding. There was no way I would not be there for my niece, so this New Yorker had to fly.
You might think of Halloween as the first holiday of many for the months to come. And perhaps you have friends and family members who find Halloween to be the first drinking holiday of the season. However, if you’re in recovery or at least striving to stay sober, then drinking or drug use is something you want to avoid.
This week we are sharing a TED talk by Scott Strode. Now clean and sober, Scott finds strength and inspiration for his recovery by participating in sports. In this wonderful talk, Scott states, “Every time I stood on top of a mountain or crossed a finish line, I was a little more a climber, and a little less an addict.” Enjoy!
In general, giving up sounds like defeat. In sobriety, giving up is a gift. Think surrender, letting go. And in the process, finding every wonderful thing waiting on the other side. This week’s guest post from Laura McKowen’s wonderful blog speaks to this idea rather beautifully.
A common trait among alcoholics and addicts is an uncontrollable racing mind that travels from the past to the future to imagined scenarios in the blink of an eye. The mind of an alcoholic or addict can read like a stream of consciousness novel heading nowhere and everywhere at the same time. Often times, when a person finally gets sober, the noise of the mind is turned down to a tolerable level as the constant guilt and shame of the past is replaced with acceptance and spiritual principles, but that being said, the mind of someone with an addiction can still be a loud and confusing place.