Getting Back to the Recovery Basics

Sometimes it’s important to just stop, take a step back, and remember how you got here.  With life getting hectic, my sobriety date getting further away, and a new addiction surfacing, it’s time to get back to the recovery basics that got me here.  The basics for me are probably different than they are for you, and that’s alright.  For me, getting back to basics means revisiting the simple things that I used in early recovery.  Journaling, meditation, prayer, gratitude, grounding exercises, blogging, going to meetings, and participating in support groups.  Tracking my mooring line behaviors, or relapse warning signs, is something I did early on that I have strayed away from.  Tracking these mooring lines means daily tracking of all of these simple recovery-related activities.  Sound boring?  For me it’s not.  I enjoy doing these basic things that make my life manageable in sobriety.  Maybe I’m a little weird, but it’s all about being the best version of myself.  And that always interests me.  It’s just that life gets busy and I stray away from these things over time.

It’s not always easy to reset myself, even if I do enjoy the process.  But the timing right now is perfect with beginning to deal with this gambling issue head-on.  It’s forcing me to reflect on what worked to treat my alcohol addiction and what parts of that I can apply to treat the gambling addiction.  It’s giving me an opportunity to fully work the SMART Recovery program, which I’ve had an interest in since I found it a few months into my recovery from alcohol and benzo addiction.  I’m a self-starter and work very well independently so the SMART program speaks to me.  I’m a bit of a nerd in loving a good worksheet and SMART has several good ones.  Not familiar with SMART Recovery?  Check it out here.

So if you’re struggling with something in recovery, whether you have one month or one decade of recovery, take the time to just stop, take a step back, and remember how you got here.  Go back to what has worked for you and add in a little something new.  It’s your recovery.  There is no rule saying that you should be doing it a certain way.  Despite what people may say, recovery is whatever you choose it to be.  You are allowed to choose your own path.  I didn’t plan on having a gambling addiction become an issue 14 months into my sobriety.  There was no warning system with an alarm and flashing lights that said a new major problem would surface this far into what I thought was recovery from my biggest issues.  You have to be open-minded and honest in this recovery thing.  As addicts, we can’t let our guard down for one minute.  We must make recovery ingrained in our lifestyle.  We must be able to adapt.  We must be able to adjust to curve balls.

I feel like I’m getting a bit preachy now, so I’ll end this by saying that recovery is a journey.  I get super excited about this journey of building a new and better life.  Part of that journey is dealing with the bumps in the road without veering completely off course.  If you can’t excited about living your best life and maintaining it, then what can you get excited about?  Thank you all for your continued support and please let me know what you think about my postings in the comments section or on social media.

Love Y’all!
Mike