“To stay in recovery, you must be responsible for finding your own motivation. Remember, motivation may not be easy to come by at first. It will probably be a very small, timid part inside of you. When you find it, let that part be in charge. Let the minority rule and lead you to a life you never dreamed was possible” Jenni Schaefer
Upon awakening, I take time to still myself. Thinking of my blessings gets the day started right. I check to make sure I am not harboring negativity. If I have a problem or two, I think of solutions and allow any concern to pass. Some problems are best met with not now, but later. I take a deep dive into the stillness where I meet myself with love.
Some thoughts about this journey I have labeled recovery:
For those folks with that vague feeling that something’s not right but who have no major pressure on them, admitting powerlessness, coming to believe, and turning it over can be a conundrum difficult to fathom. Just what constitutes acting out? What do I need to give up? Can’t I even…? Maybe I can just…and so forth. Doubt, denial, fear of change, and the ever-present question hanging over any addict’s head: “If I don’t have that, what’s left,” can combine to make for a long slog down the road of happy destiny.
I have to watch myself. I can get annoyed with the people who keep coming back with the same sad tales, the same excuses, telling the same story, and resisting simple compliance with a simple program. I have to remember that I didn’t hit the doors of any of my fellowships until I had no choice. My need for recovery was as clear-cut as it could possibly have been, and yet I still took years to get my feet under me, get some traction, and finally some real sobriety. (Oh, like many of us, I’m really good at talking the talk.)
I have to remember, too, that in recovery, effort is the key, not necessarily perfect compliance with all the things I or anyone else thinks they ought to be doing. I can’t judge, I can only offer support. The pain in the ass who keeps coming back may be fighting for sobriety, not against it.
In early recovery, willpower is very important to ensure that you are able to resist the cravings. A clear sense of why you want to resist helps, as does a stockpile of distraction and relaxation strategies to enable you to get through those testing moments. It is worth remembering that a physical craving only lasts seconds, the agony comes from what your mind does with that brief moment of craving.
As your recovery deepens, it helps to work on practices that increase your resilience to stress and anxiety, and decrease your dependence on willpower. Here are a few things you can do that help to build resilience and inner strength:
Work your program
Whatever program of recovery you are following, make sure you follow it. For me, this means a commitment to my yoga practice and living my life as closely aligned with yogic principles as possible. I am currently reading Russell Brand’s new book, Recovery: Freedom from our Addictions, which is teaching me about the 12-Step program. I have never done a 12-Step program before, but am seriously thinking about working through it as I can see that it is a powerful program with which to improve life in all sorts of ways.
Spend some time each day reflecting on the day that has passed, what has been good, what could have been better, what lessons you have learned and what you can let go of. This helps to clear your mind of rumination and worry before bed, allowing yourself to get a better night’s sleep.
3. From “Emotional Addiction & How to Break Free“:
Emotional addiction works exactly like any substance addiction. It starts with a rewarding stimulus. Initially, in a difficult situation, you cried or got stressed or felt sad, either someone comforted you or you just felt a rush. Sadness is an easily accessible strong emotion compared to a positive strong emotion like intense Joy, exhilaration or a strong dose of happiness. It’s as if for us humans, feeling something strong is always better than feeling nothing or feeling something average.
Then suddenly you find yourself in an environment which promotes the use, in this case, a certain feeling. Like failure, heartbreak or accidental loss promote sadness and stress, insecurity, pain, suffering, fear etc to an extent that it starts to become a habit. You are again offered comfort by others or you again experienced the rush. A strong bad emotion is almost like a high that always gives you a bad hangover, yet you dink up that emotion that tastes like shit because of the rush, the danger, the feeling of coming out of it is really Something.
But Slowly and eventually it takes more sadness to get the same high or even same comfort from others. Like alcoholics eventually need more and more alcohol to feel the same buzz. And Surprise! You are addicted. Much like alcohol, an emotional state like sadness, suffering, insecurity, fear, self-pity or loneliness also becomes a habit and then an addiction that you can’t control.