Living A Healthy Life in Recovery
A healthy life is something that is largely foreign to most of us who spent much of our lives struggling with active alcoholism and addiction. Life consisted of adhering to the will of our destructive disease. When we first get sober, we often have a lot of learning to do about healing our minds, bodies, and spirits.
Alcoholism and addiction is a three-fold disease, and the 12-Steps begin to repair, heal, and educate us in all those areas. We learn how to calm our minds, steady our emotions, stop abusing our bodies, and uplift and awaken our spirits. The healing begins the moment we start working the 12-Steps or attend our first Jaywalker meeting.
As we continue 12-Step work, meetings, and service work in our recovery we find that they continue to help us heal and grow. Yet because we are still not used to healthy ways of living and being, we can often overlook the holistic healing and new ways of being healthy that a life in recovery has to offer us.
The 12-Steps and Your Health
We aren’t typically used to thinking in terms of healing and health, because there wasn’t really much of either in our alcoholism and addiction. Just by working the program of recovery at Jaywalker Lodge, we will become exposed to healthier ways of thinking, dealing with our emotions, and relating to ourselves and the people around us.
Of course, as we heal and learn healthier methods of living, we feel better and better! Yet recovery isn’t just about mere sobriety — it is about so many deep, incredible things in the arenas of mind, body, and spirit. The holistic healing done by the 12-Steps is wildly effective, but it also encourages us to take the methods and principles we learn even further if we want to.
For instance, we learn the spiritual necessity of meditation in the 11th-Step. As we practice it, we find that it does a great deal to improve our spiritual condition. Surprisingly, it also seems to benefit our minds, providing clarity and calmness. And beyond that, our bodies feel better.
Our shoulders and neck aren’t always so tense. We’re not nervously tapping our foot in meetings, or having anxiety attacks as frequently. This is how the 12-Steps brilliantly address our healing and health, dealing with it both all at once and little by little. It quickly becomes clear that everything is connected.
Now that we’ve had so much success and benefit from meditation, we are encouraged to explore. We may find yoga, thinking at first that it has nothing to with the 12-Steps or sobriety. But as we try it more, we find that it enhances our meditation, which in turn helps us grow healthier in many ways in our life of recovery. Suddenly, yoga is a part of our recovery. As our disease affected every aspect of ourselves and our lives, so too will the solutions touch our whole being.
Explore New Ways to Be Healthy
Yoga is just one example, and it’s not for everybody. What we need to be aware of is that the program of recovery sets a new baseline for health in every area of our life. It’s up to us how much or how little we do to participate in our own health. The program sets a new bar and gives us many helpful practices to engage in.
Now that we are healthier than we’ve ever been, we are free to investigate new ways of improving our health. Perhaps we feel a desire to work the 12-Steps on our relationship with food or nicotine. Perhaps we want to try sober softball leagues or mountain-climbing groups. Perhaps we decide to go deep into meditation and attend silent retreats.
Any of these activities, and countless more, are healthy things to engage in that can improve us in mind, body, and spirit all at once. This interconnected relationship of the three parts of our being is unavoidable, yet often overlooked. If we don’t look after our mental health our physical and spiritual health suffers, or vice versa, or any combination of the three.
We often aren’t aware of this at first, but once we understand it, it can be a very useful thing to know. If we aren’t feeling well physically, we might find our discomfort improved by meditation, for example. If our spirits are low, we might lift them by going for a walk or a run. Our recovery and our health encourage us to explore the holistic nature of our solutions, our actions, and even our problems.
The Choice is Yours
We don’t have to become marathon runners or health nuts to stay healthy, happy, and joyful in recovery — but we can if we want to! We don’t have to give up cigarettes or coffee, but we can if we want to. The only requirement is a desire to stop drinking, after all. Yet after the miracle of recovery has taken place in our life, we may find that it suits us. We may wish to make the most of our newfound health and healing. There certainly couldn’t be anything wrong with that.
The disease of alcoholism and addiction can ravage the sufferer in body, mind, and spirit. The journey of recovery can provide healing and new health across these same dimensions. If you or someone you know, is struggling to achieve and maintain long-term sobriety, the experienced staff here at Jaywalker Lodge is ready to help. To learn more, call us today at (866) 529-9255.