Putting the Past in Its Proper Place

moving on from past trauma

Everyone has something in their past that weighs on them or still troubles them in other ways. We all have a moment of regret or remorse, something we wish we had done differently or hadn’t done at all. Perhaps there is something we wish we had done. It’s quite common to have some negativity in our past. Some of us even have trauma from our past that still hangs around. In an ideal world, we could effortlessly process our experiences, grow and learn from them, and then move forward. Unfortunately, most people don’t learn how to do this until later in life. For alcoholics and addicts, we usually don’t pick up on any of these techniques until we find the program of recovery. And even then, it’s quite a steep learning curve. Our pasts before our disease took hold are often filled with painful memories or feelings of shame and…

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Emotional Extremes (and Why We Should Avoid Them)

emotional extremes

Emotions are a part of human life. No matter who you are, what you are, or where you’re from, it’s incredibly likely that you have feelings. Some of us may be more sensitive than others, while others may have lost touch with their emotions or tried to bury them. For those of us who are alcoholics and addicts, it’s just as likely that we are in any of these camps. Typically speaking, alcoholics and addicts are more susceptible to our feelings and emotions. They affect us more acutely, often causing outbursts or drastic actions to avoid them altogether. Our sensitivity to our emotions can be a hard thing for us to admit, but the literature of recovery is pretty clear about it. We drank or used because we liked the feeling. We celebrated happily and indulged even more. Then we did it too much and lost control. We suffered consequences that…

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Men’s Issues: Ch-ch-changes

dealing with change in recovery

At Jaywalker Lodge, we deal exclusively with helping men find recovery from alcoholism and addiction. We specialize in helping those who have had difficulty achieving or maintaining recovery. We were like that ourselves, and it is a great joy to share the things that helped us overcome our chronic relapse and find lasting recovery. In the course of doing just that, we see men struggle with a variety of issues. These range from mental and emotional health issues to trauma, spiritual crises, and even things like societal pressures. Over time, we have begun to see such troublesome issues arise enough to be considered common. Though we each have a unique life experience, there is much that unites us in commonality. Just as we share the disease of alcoholism and addiction, and we also share in the solution to that problem —  the 12-Steps of recovery. There are other problems and…

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Connecting With Your Higher Power in Nature

higher power in nature

For people worldwide, from all walks of life, connecting with our own personal higher power is an important and rewarding pursuit. Whether we are alcoholics, addicts, or otherwise, many of us recognize some sort of power in the universe that is greater than ourselves. Especially for those of us who are in recovery, discovering and connecting to a higher power is a vital element of our success. Indeed, the connection to and reliance upon our higher power is one of the most central and important elements of recovery. This is not a roadblock to recovery for those who dislike the concepts of religion or spirituality or are unfamiliar with them. Simply working the 12-Steps will help us with any issues we have in this area. The wording of recovery says that we will have “a spiritual awakening as a result of these (12) steps…” It comes as we work the…

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Maintaining Priorities in Recovery

priorities in recovery

Life is complicated right now for just about everyone, but especially for people with health challenges. All the craziness in the world today can be extra difficult for those with mental and emotional health issues. Many alcoholics and addicts in recovery today also experience mental and emotional health issues. Whether we have additional issues or not, being in recovery and keeping in healthy spiritual condition comes with a list of certain things that we must do. Despite the pandemic and all that has come with it, life still has its regular ups and downs as well. For those of us in recovery, we must turn some of our thoughts and energy to keeping our priorities in line. This is a straightforward way to ensure that we keep our recovery stable and safe. What Are the Right Priorities? The specifics are going to look a little bit different for each of…

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Men’s Issues: I Don’t Want To Look Weak

vulnerability

Nobody likes to look weak, and even worse is feeling weak. Culturally, men are trained to avoid any signs of weakness as best they can. Think about that for a second. The word fear isn’t used, but men are conditioned to fear weakness. Even more than that, we’re biologically wired to fear things we think are weak. Nobody can see us cry. No one must ever hear us ask for help. We can never let anyone challenge us, or “punk” us, or make us feel small. Because if any of that happened, we’d be weak. And weak men lose. Right? Not really. Mostly all of this is wrong. And I’m not talking about some reverse-psychology reframing of things to make them sound tough; I’m talking about actual strength. We don’t have a clear picture of that in society today. Male role models are typically superhero muscular, handsome, and wealthy. But…

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Complacency in Recovery (and How to Avoid It)

avoiding complacency

Everybody loves to feel enthusiastic and excited about things. However, as alcoholics and addicts, we are warned to avoid overexposure to enthusiasm and excitement. We are told not to chase after these feelings because we can get hooked on intense feelings like those we got used to in our active disease. It can lead us to jeopardy when we overvalue the extreme up-and-down feelings. Extreme feelings are a topic all their own. But what about their opposite? Sometimes we can grow numb to feelings or get trapped in monotony. Or even worse, we can become complacent about our lives and lose any feelings for the beautiful life we have. Being complacent and feeling numb can be just as dangerous and detrimental as extreme feelings. Complacency often signals more than a few alarming things. It can mean we’ve lost our gratitude or lost sight of how far we’ve come from the…

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Navigating Changes in Recovery

navigating change

Life can sometimes seem static. Maybe we’ve gotten ourselves into a rut. But for the most part, life is an ever-changing thing. It has waves and rhythms, but it’s always moving. It’s a fact of nature — change is the only constant. Things are living and growing, or they are getting stagnant and dying. Perhaps in our active disease, before we found the 12-Steps, we may well have been stagnant and dying. Luckily for alcoholics and addicts like us, now gratefully in recovery, we are on the path of constant growth. Our inner life, spirituality, and recovery must always be worked on and must always be growing to remain vital. That is why working the 12-Steps never ends. The program of recovery grows with us and should always be the focal point of our paths forward in this beautiful life. Though we always have the program of recovery to guide…

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Staying in Gratitude

gratitude

Just the fact that we’re here and reading this right now is reason enough to be grateful. Maybe you’re here because you’re new to recovery, or contemplating sobriety, or you’ve been in recovery awhile and you’re just struggling. Whatever brought you here doesn’t matter as much as acknowledging your gratitude for getting to be here. Every day that we wake up and are still breathing is a day full of beautiful opportunities, whether it’s easy to see things that way or not. In general, whatever your spiritual beliefs may be, the astronomical odds of even being alive are pretty miraculous. We are made up of millions and millions of microscopic events that had to go just right for us to be here. Yet, here we are. Maybe we are looking for help or just an emotional boost, and we found this article. What are the odds? Hopefully we can do…

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Staying Current With 12-Step Work

sobriety

Those of us who have experienced living with the disease of alcoholism and addiction remember how desperately we sought escape and freedom. We also remember the hope and relief that we felt we finally found the program of recovery. Maybe it didn’t look exactly how we imagined it, but we sure were happy to find a solution to our deadly disease, finally. The sheer joy of seeing people who had alcoholism and addiction just like we did, but were now living happy and free lives in recovery, was incredible. Our time spent losing our lives trapped inside our disease could finally be over. We heard these recovering alcoholics and addicts talk about participating in the program of recovery. They spoke about attending meetings, being of service, and getting familiar with the concept of fellowship. They also spoke often about taking the 12-Steps. They called all of this “working a program”…

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