Staying the Course

We all know recovery has ups and downs that we must navigate through. Sometimes, recovery makes us feel on top of the world. Other times, recovery can feel exhausting as we try to push our way through triggers and the most challenging days. Sometimes, however, recovery is all about keeping life steady. You don’t feel overly joyous, but you don’t feel the strain of recovery. You may be wondering, “How do I accomplish this?” Through actively working a 12-Step program and staying engaged in your recovery, keeping life steady is always attainable.  Regularly Attending Meetings Regular meeting attendance in a 12-Step program can always help you keep life steady. Of course, life can sometimes get in the way of the number of meetings you attend, but making a point to attend as many meetings as you can in a week can immensely help maintain your recovery. Meeting attendance allows you…

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Being of Service

emotions

What does “being of service” actually mean? Why do we talk about it so much in recovery? Is it really as important as it sounds? Being of service is more than being helpful on occasion — it’s a lifestyle that is vital to successful recovery. We talk about service so often because it’s one of the major keystones of a life in recovery.There is a lot that we can learn about being of service, and there is a lot that can be said about it, too. Simply put, service is one of the single most important ingredients to a healthy, happy, and successful recovery lifestyle. Let’s take some time to explore this incredible element of recovery.What Is Service?Service is more than just lending a hand whenever we can. Service is a way of life. Some people say that it’s only considered being of service if it’s inconvenient, but that’s untrue…

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When It’s Time to Sponsor

honesty and trust in recovery

When we are new to recovery, some of the first advice we’re ever given is to get a sponsor. It may seem like a strange concept at first. I mean, what’s a sponsor? Well, we find out what a sponsor is pretty quickly. A sponsor is an alcoholic or addict in recovery who has worked all Twelve Steps and is willing to help others do the same. What do we need a sponsor for? Spoiler alert: we need a sponsor to help us work the Steps ourselves. Literally, we need someone who has worked all Twelve Steps to show us how to do it. More than that, much of the Twelve Steps require us to speak with another person about certain things. Our sponsor is usually the person we talk to whenever the Steps require it.Our sponsor gets to know about us and our life. We get to know and trust…

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Men’s Issues: Asking for Help

the value of treatment

Men don’t ask for directions. Men don’t read the instructions. Men don’t ask for help. Have you ever heard these garbage stereotypes before? To put it mildly, wrong-headed ideas about what makes a “real” man are killing real men. These and many other harmful socio-cultural lies are poisoning the minds of men every day, preventing them from living their best lives and giving their best to others. What real men do is ask for help and direction, and then help and support others. Real men know it takes courage, strength, and faith to ask for help. So, what kind of thinking propagates these twisted ideas of manhood? Where does it come from? And what can we do about it? Let’s take a hard look at asking for help from men’s perspective, and how we can help ourselves overcome the incorrect programming that’s keeping us from getting the help we need. Don’t Believe…

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Being a Leader in Recovery

we can accomplish anything

Every man among us likes to view himself as a leader, but are we really ready to pony up when it comes to doing what leaders do? What about those of us who don’t view ourselves as leaders or simply don’t want the moniker? Doesn’t seeing yourself as a leader oppose the humility that the Twelve Steps constantly ask us to seek? These are some good questions, so let’s delve into the answers. We’ll start with what it means to be a leader in recovery and who among us is tasked with this position.A Group of LeadersThe truth is that there are no official leaders in recovery. We often look to those with the longest time sober to lead the rest of us in recovery. But this system only works if those with the longest time sober are still actively working the Twelve Steps and maintaining their spiritual fitness. Reality tells…

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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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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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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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The Society of Our Fellows

community in recovery

Isolation and “Lone Wolf syndrome” are extremely common modes of operation for alcoholics and addicts. The reason why going solo is so popular among people like us is complicated. It’s partly because we are defiant, independent people, and partly because we are often very emotionally sensitive people. We like to do our own thing and we get frustrated when something stands in our way, so we go it alone. We also like to try and feel good all the time, and many of our actions, habits, and behaviors can cause harm to those around us. We don’t like hurting people or making them sad, so we find it easier to live alone as much as possible. The problem is that going it alone does harm in its own way, too. We can’t avoid our way into or out of relationships. No matter how independent, isolated, or alone we make ourselves,…

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