Marvelous Stories of What Recovery is All About

After eight years of writing, I decided that I really would rather collect other people’s writings about a similar theme. So I add 3-4 posts from other writers from the 250 recovery blogs I read in my Google Reader. I could just spend all my time collecting these beautiful gems all day long but I try to limit myself to 3-4 hours daily. It is very time-consuming having the posts coordinate around one theme. But I always get the theme idea from one of the posts. Todays’s idea came for the 1st post below and is amazing, amazing. I love recovery!

1.  From Dr24hours (infactorium): “Mental Health Day”:

I stayed home today. I submitted my grant yesterday. It’s an R01 equivalent. 4 Years, $1.05M. I’m co-PI. It’s a resubmission. First time around our priority score was 29.2.  Funding line is around 20, and variable. Our revision was essentially a wholesale rewrite. I’m hopeful. If it hits, I’m in good shape for my career. Not so many people get grants like this, even in the cohort of people who really want to be major scientists, and have the talent and background to do that. I got a really nice note from my co-PI telling me I’ve learned a lot about grant writing and submissions. It was quite a compliment.

So after working on it for a month straight, and getting everything done, I crashed. I needed to sleep in. Then I went running. It’s gorgeous out there today. 63 degrees, blue sky, light breeze. I set up about a 10:30 mile pace and just kept going. My plan was to do 2.6 miles. I did 6.22 (10 kilometers) without slowing to walk once. In just under 66 minutes. That’s the furthest by far, far, that I’ve ever gone. In my life.

As I just tweeted, four and a half years ago I was a suicide drunk. I smoked a pack of cigarettes a day. I was significantly overweight. Today, I am well employed, forwardly mobile, and in very good health. It’s incredible to me, and I’ve felt like weeping with gratitude all day long.

I’m tired. But I’m well. It’s a wonderful world out there. And there are no boundaries.

2.  From brokenbrilliant (Broken Brain-Brilliant Mind): “Whatever it takes?”

I’ve never been one to sit on the sidelines for long, and I’ve always pushed myself — often harder than was wise or necessary. But I had to do it. I just had to. Something in me just drove me on. And I could totally relate to the message. At the same time, however, I paid a price — in terms of TBI and other injuries that have dogged me through the years. I know the hazards of over-training and not giving yourself enough chance to rest and recover. Sometimes, you do have to take a day off — although it’s not really taking a day “off” because the body is still working to recover and you’re still making gains, even though you feel like you’re idle.

That’s probably been the biggest thing I’ve struggled with over the recent years —learningto back off and take it easy on myself, not drive myself into the ground, and not completely wreck myself with fatigue and overwork. I can totally relate to what Messrs Ruffin and Thomas are saying above. At the same time, however, using good judgment and prudence in terms of balance and recovery… well, that just makes sense.

3.  From  M. Broughton Boone (Muse’s Sober Musings): “Getting to Recovery: If Something Can Go Right, it Will”:

Gratitude can help us become enthusiastic about our daily lives.  If we practice being grateful for the basic things, treasuring that which we now take for granted, we become more enthusiastic about day to day living.  Imagine that, for one day, you were to treasure every moment.  Instead of complaining about the work you must do, be grateful that you have dishes to wash, that you havea home to clean, a job to go to, even the ability to do the exercise you want to avoid.   Be glad for the things you have, because if you didn’t have a home, a job, or food to eat, those are the things you would wish for.

Nobody likes to do chores.  We can usually think of a dozen things we would rather be doing than dishes or laundry.  “You can’t expect me to be enthusiastic about the dishes,” you might say.  The interesting thing is: you can be.  If you focus on the result of your chores, they become less difficult to do.  Think of washing dishes in this way: You are not washing dishes just to wash dishes; you are washing them because you were capable of getting them dirty in the first place.  If you hate doing laundry, remember the feeling of fresh sheets on your bed.  Reminding yourself of the positive reasons that you have chores to do will go a long way toward being enthusiastic in doing them.

How do we treasure the parts of our lives that are painful?  Surely we can’t treasure losing a job, breaking up with a partner, or having someone dear to us pass away.  We may not treasure those events, but we can treasure those moments.  If we never had negative experiences, we would be unable to be grateful for the positive moments in our lives.  Some negative events allow us to learn about ourselves, bringing growth that we might not otherwise discover.  Some remind us that we must live each day with joy, for we don’t know if it will be our last.  It is these lessons that we can treasure, and in doing so we may find the event  itself becoming less painful.

Enthusiasm is my daily exercise.  When we start each morning with gratefulness for being alive, we open ourselves to experiencing life as though things will go right, not wrong.  When we allow ourselves to treasure even the most mundane of daily activities, focusing on each moment, each breath, without worry about the future, we find enthusiasm growing within us.   The more we embrace that enthusiasm, the more easily we will find it.

Recognize that sobriety has given you the ability to find the positive where before you may have seen only struggle.  Allow yourself to open to a world where anything is possible, and each moment is a blessing.  Embrace each day of your New Life with enthusiasm and treasure every experience.  Your recovery will blossom as you do.

Photo credit.

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