The opposite of addiction isn’t sobriety. It really is connection – FRIENDSHIP. It has taken many years but I finally like myself again and have the “peeps” I feel good to be with in my life. For me, a few close friendships are absolutely vital to my Recovery. I can’t do this alone, it is too hard… the connections I have with my friends now are all HEALING. The ones that aren’t I just don’t give my energy to anymore. I finally understand the “love yourself first” concept – in sustainable Recovery, you must be able to recognize what empties you and what fills you up emotionally and spiritually.
Recent conversations inform me that I tend to default to easily noticing when things feel hard, uncomfortable, are not working out, or not working out quickly enough. It’s easy to feel that it’s hard. But when things are easy, gliding along effortlessly I’m often not consciously aware of it – I can almost discount it as “oh yeah, but it’s actually hard…” then seek out, emotionalize, and pick up what’s “hard.” What if I could catch those moments when things effortlessly glide along, and shine a mental spotlight on them in that moment?
For some people, the substance they are addicted to is like an old friend: available, reliable, trustworthy and comforting. Until that “friend” betrays you in the midst of the eventual fallout from addiction: job loss, relationship
failure or worse, tragedy and death. I am going to tell you part of my addiction and recovery story and try my best not to be cliché. Everybody’s story is unique and has very strange and dark elements and mine no less so. However, mine at times played like a Grisham novel – sinister forces portraying themselves to be friends but sucking the life out of my family for personal gain – that is the backdrop to my addiction story.
These seven beautiful affirmations are offered by Mark Guay in a guided meditation entitled “Manifest your Unlimited Potential.” This meditation is based on the research of psychologist Abraham Maslow and uses the ancient practice of visualizing chakra centers. Chakra means “wheel of light” in Sanskrit. What a perfect time to share these as we close out a year that was full of events beyond imagination (many we love so much and others we would prefer not to have happened…).
I bought a new pot of face cream. The package promised to “erase fine lines in a week,” which is great because it’s my birthday today and I wanted to have a wrinkle-free face by that milestone… I mean, I actually bought the cream – $37.99 – because the box said it would work its magic quickly. Isn’t that what we all look for? And it got me thinking. Getting sober is like standing in the Lotion and Creams aisle in the drugstore. We are all looking past the seductive packaging for the quick fix…
I live in a childlike wonder as new ideas continue to be born through me. In this sparkling, twinkling season of lights, I am illuminated from within. I see the glimmering beautiful outer world illuminated all around me. I let this month cap this amazing year even as it leaves one last unwrapped gift to be opened to reveal a fresh new page and a brand new year about to begin.
By now, I’ve gotten much better at remembering that I am not running the show. But along with not running the show, I must also remember not to let the show run me. I can control the energy with which I approach and relate to the holidays. I can set boundaries and act upon my highest intentions for the outcome I wish to create. And then not be attached to that outcome, and simply show up in my best and highest and most present self.
I’m not going to try and wrap this up in a pretty bow. When the initial high of sobriety fades, life is still life. Sometimes, that life is amazing and shiny and wonderful. Sometimes, it’s dark and lonely and scary. Other times, most times for me, it’s a mix of the two. And that’s ok, for today. Hopefully it can be enough for you, too.