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Sobriety, Happiness and Peace is All About What We Do with the Other Twenty-Three Hours in a Day

February 2019
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When it comes to my posts about recovery, I tend to pick hard hitting topics and drive emotion into them.  Recovering from addiction is a big deal in some aspects, but in others, it’s mostly just a day to day, easy does it.

When I first sobered up, the whole idea was pretty simple for the first year; don’t f*ckin’ drink.  I went to a lot of meetings to make sure I would make it.  The first half of the year I hit a meeting every day – sometimes two.

After that first year, the real work started and it was about fixing the other 23 hours of the day.  It wasn’t so much about not drinking – I already had that down – it was about fixing all of the crap that I drank over in the first place.

Many people who fail with recovery, have a tough time grasping that true freedom from addiction isn’t realized until the other twenty-three hours of the day are dealt with successfully.

Anyone can stay clean and sober in an in-patient rehab facility.  It’s what happens when we step outside that causes us trouble.

I’ve gotten to the point in recovery where I don’t worry much about alcohol and drugs anymore.  My natural reaction to being anywhere near them is to recoil – to think things through.  When I wake up in the morning, after thanking God for another day on the right side of the grass, I think about what I can do better today.  I think about where I might have fallen short yesterday, and what I need to do to be a better me.

This is the best way I know to start a day.  Focused on how I can be a better version of me.  This is how I do good with the other twenty-three hours of the day.

Riding a roller coaster at a coaster park is great.  Riding a roller coaster in life, not so much.  We learn early on that highs that are too high lead to lows that are too low.  If we smooth the track out, we don’t risk not being able to carry momentum up the next hill, causing us to slide back down to the bottom.

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4 Comments

  1. annastk76 says:

    It’s one of the first things I remember reading on your blog when I first got sober and found my way in on here – you talked about “gentle rollers” (as opposed to crazy high peaks and devastating lows) and the expression stuck in my mind. At the time it seemed unrealistic to me, like some Nirvana I wouldn’t be able to find, something hard to reach and unobtainable. “Gentle rollers” had a bit of a fairytale ring to it as far as I was concerned and I think I even decided it would never be true for me or something I could ever have. Guess what? A year in I’m beginning to understand what those are and what they feel like because it would seem I live that way now. I get it now! I get it! It rings true for me what you’re saying here too – getting the not drinking down is one thing but ultimately we need to smooth out the other kinks too in order to stay this way. “Gentle rollers” – it might just be my favourite expression ever, so thank you. 🙂

  2. saoirsek says:

    The “program” and working it is what makes living sober easier for me. Using the steps in all aspects of our lives , home work, play is the secret. Whenever I’m struggling I try to apply what I’ve learnt from the steps and that usually helps. Thanks for this post Jim. Have just signed up for a triathlon so should start posting myself again soon🙂

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