We Believe #12: The Goal of Sobriety Is To Live a Life of Joy, Abundance, and Meaning

life of joy

At Jaywalker Lodge, we are guided by our hearts in everything we do. In fact, the whole Jaywalker operation is guided by heart, and the heart of Jaywalker is summed up in our 12 “We Believe” statements. These are the reasons, motivations, and guiding lights for every single action and for every single person here. We’ve come to our 12th and final belief, and perhaps the most important one. Nothing sums up Jaywalker Lodge better than We Believe #12. If there’s one thing you need to know about Jaywalker Lodge, it’s that we truly believe in this sentiment with every fiber of our being. We Believe #12: We believe that while complete abstinence from drugs and alcohol is an essential strategy in early recovery, the ultimate goal of sobriety is to live a life of joy, abundance, and meaning. Doesn’t that sound wonderful? And the best part is, we know it to…

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I shall take the heart…

“I shall take the heart,” returned the Tin Woodsman; “for brains do not make one happy, and happiness is the best thing in the world.” ― L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of OzGrowing up in a theatrical and artistic household once a year that we would all sit down and watch the classic 1939 film, THE WIZARD OF OZ. Little did I realize during all of those endless viewings just how closely my own story would mirror that of the classic tale I was forced to watch.  My life as I knew it then was in sepia, just like the beginning of the movie. A colorless brown hued story. Also, as in the movie, a storm was brewing, I couldn’t help but watch, as it inched closer and closer. I remember running back into my house desperately looking for comfort, everything around me in dull hues, especially my senses….

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Dealing With Frustration

frustration

Recovery is obviously a true blessing in our lives. For alcoholics and addicts, recovery is among the greatest gifts we could ever receive. Working the Twelve Steps changes nearly every part of our lives, and it often changes us in ways that make us much happier and more peaceful. However, life is still life, even in recovery. Not every day is sunshine and rainbows, though admittedly the sun shines a lot brighter and more often in recovery. But we will still face troubling times on occasion, and we will still have to deal with negative emotions. Luckily, recovery offers us many helpful ways to weather such storms of life. Life does not stop being life in recovery. It is still subject to ups and downs, hard times and good times, tragedy and euphoria. What recovery does is help us navigate the inevitabilities of life with peace, calm, and clear direction….

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Personal Touches in Recovery Treatment

individualized therapy

Recovery treatment has quite a few blanket elements that are applied to everyone, mainly because they work for almost everyone. Alcoholics and addicts are always served by abstinence and sobriety. Also, both individual and group therapy tend to be remarkably helpful in recovery treatment. Eating right and being physically active never did anyone any harm. And then there is the biggest and most effective universal solution: the 12-Step program of recovery. This course of action works for anyone who is willing to do the work. The Twelve Steps, combined with meetings and being of service, is the solution that really works for so many of us. These are big, one-size-fits-all applications of recovery treatment methods. But each of them also has a deeply personal element that sometimes gets overlooked. For truly effective recovery treatment, we can’t forget the personal touches needed with each method. Addiction recovery treatment has so many…

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Men’s Issues: I Don’t Want To Lose My Friends

friends in recovery

It may or may not be surprising to hear that one of the most common concerns for those of us who are new to recovery is the potential loss of friends. We may fear that our friends will abandon us once we adopt the recovery lifestyle or, on the flip side, that we will have to leave certain friends behind to ensure our own recovery. Either way you slice it, friendships tend to cause a lot of worry in early recovery. Friendships are normally a happy part of life, so it seems strange that such a good thing could make us hesitant about our own recovery. True friendships should be able to endure whatever lifestyle changes the people involved make, especially when it means life or death for one of them. But sadly, this is not always the case. Hence, potentially losing friendships becomes an issue of real concern for…

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I Miss Live Meetings. What Can I Do?

live meetings

Wherever we are in our recovery journey, meetings are incredibly important. This still holds true, even in strange times like these. Live and in-person meetings may not be available in our area, or we may not be comfortable attending the ones that are ongoing for a number of reasons. As alcoholics and addicts in recovery, we know that we need to attend meetings. We likely even want to hit a few meetings. But what if we can’t for one reason or another? If we find ourselves missing live meetings or unable to make as many meetings as we’d like to, there are several things we can do now and keep in mind for the future. Meetings Mean a Lot Meetings are part of the “triangle of recovery”: Unity, Service, Recovery. The unity includes meetings and fellowship. We simply need one another on this journey — none of us recover alone. Meetings…

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The Importance of Giving Back in Recovery Treatment

giving back

From a purely medical standpoint, altruism does not seem like an appropriate treatment for alcoholism and addiction. However, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the 12-Step program has an intense focus on altruism and just so happens to be among the most effective, successful, and versatile treatment methods for alcoholism and addiction ever devised. Adding altruism to recovery treatment increases the chances that one can get and stay recovered, as proven by the success of those who work the 12-Step program. Of course, altruism alone is not enough. The specific brand of altruism taught in the 12-Step program must be engaged with while continuing to work the entirety of the recovery program. Medical treatments, therapy, and psychiatry along with physical, mental, and emotional health are still important factors, too. Being that alcoholism and addiction is a disease of a three-fold nature — 1) the physical allergy, 2)…

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Why “Meeting Makers Make It”

meetings

Those of us who are new to recovery have surely heard a lot about the importance of 12 Step meetings. The recovery community talks about them all the time. Some of us go to a meeting every single day — maybe even more than one! Some will only hit a meeting whenever they feel like they “need a meeting.” Everyone has a different opinion on meetings, but one thing is clear: meetings are a big part of the 12 Step program of recovery. In fact, the three sides of the triangle symbol of recovery are Unity, Service, and Fellowship. Fellowship is another word for meetings. Meetings are important, no matter what anyone says. The book Alcoholics Anonymous makes that clear. So important, in fact, that “meeting makers make it” has become a familiar recovery saying. But meetings aren’t the most popular part of the 12 Step program. Many people view them…

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The Gift of Responsibility

responsibility

Responsibility is often overlooked when it comes to treating alcoholism and addiction. Jaywalker Lodge understands that freedom is proportional to the responsibility we accept for our lives. And freedom is what recovery is all about — freedom from alcoholism and addiction, freedom from our grosser handicaps, and freedom to live a life of happiness, joy, and purpose. Freedom is everything in recovery, but freedom only grows if the responsibility we’re willing to shoulder grows. Far too often, the very concept of responsibility has a hard time sticking in our world. Not only is responsibility often disdained by alcoholics and addicts like us, but most of the people in our lives (sometimes including those who wish to help us) are unwilling to trust us with responsibility. We have to admit this is fair, given that in our disease we are very seldom responsible for much else besides pain and destruction. Through…

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Yesterday’s Home Runs Don’t Count in Today’s Game

resting on your laurels

Anybody who has spent time in recovery or read the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous enough has heard the phrase “resting on our laurels.” This is an old saying based on Greek and Roman culture, where winners of competitions were granted crowns of laurel leaves (laurels). Resting on our laurels is when we are too easy on ourselves, counting on our past successes to carry us through the present and the future. A modern version of this saying is “Yesterday’s home runs don’t count in today’s game.” The meaning is the same — our past successes are wonderful, but they aren’t enough to live fully in the present or keep fear of the future at bay. In recovery, sayings like this take on a slightly new meaning. What they come to mean in the rooms of recovery would be something like “The work you did for your recovery yesterday won’t…

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