Feeling Safe in Meetings

safe in recovery meetings

When we enter recovery, we soon learn about the “triangle” — Unity, Service, Recovery. In general terms, these three words represent the pillars of successful recovery from alcoholism and addiction. In essence, they are the main ingredients of our new lives freed from the disease.  Unity represents fellowship and meetings. Service is straightforward — we are to be of service to all others in whatever ways we are able, as often as possible. Recovery means working the 12-Steps on a continual basis with our sponsor, beginning the work of healing, and enlarging our spiritual lives. For now, we are going to talk about a specific element of unity, and a pretty significant part of long-term recovery — meetings. Why Meetings Are Essential Meetings aren’t necessarily the most exciting thing that we are asked to be willing to engage in, but it’s also challenging to find an alcoholic or addict who…

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A “Much More Important Demonstration of Our Principles” Lies Ahead

sponsor

For those of us alcoholics and addicts who have been blessed enough to find ourselves in recovery, we most likely already know that working the 12-Steps on a daily basis can provide us with a daily reprieve from our alcoholism and addiction. Maybe we just wanted recovery to get sober, but now there’s all this talk of spiritual principles and growth. Yet, we don’t want to go back to our old way of life. We want to stay sober — but it seems like the only way to do that is to get involved with the work of recovery.  It might be an extremely good idea to work the 12-Steps. As we do this work and engage in all the elements of a recovery lifestyle, we may notice that each one of the 12-Steps teaches us about important spiritual principles as we practice them. These may be concepts we are…

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Why Do I Need a 12-Step Program?

12 step program

People have been struggling with alcoholism and addiction for as long as alcohol and addictive substances have existed. Over the years, many treatments were devised and attempted. The remedies available to alcoholics just a few decades ago would seem barbaric by today’s standards. In this era of quick fixes, there may be less horrific approaches to solving alcoholism and addiction — but not all of them are for real. While different methods may work for different people and 12-Step programs do not have a monopoly on solutions or spiritual programs of action, what 12-Step programs do have is a pretty long history of helping others. The 12-Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous have been around for a long time, roughly 85 years. Way back then, most alcoholics were given intense sedatives and locked up in asylums or prisons. Addicts were mostly sent to jail or left to go it alone. There may…

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Don’t Try To Do Everything at Once

one step at a time

For anyone struggling with drugs and alcohol, finding recovery can often be an incredibly powerful and energizing experience. Once we’ve gotten over the initial culture shock and embraced a recovery lifestyle, we will likely find ourselves incredibly excited by the possibilities our new life holds. We no longer hurt all the time, we’ve stopped making messes of everything, and we’ve begun to rebuild ourselves and our lives. Hopefully, we’ve worked the 12-Steps thoroughly and continue to do so as we attend meetings and find ways to be of service. This is all wonderful — simply wonderful. We have every reason to be excited, happy, and overflowing with gratitude. We’ve been set free from the prison of our disease and returned to a life of happiness, usefulness, and wholeness. And there’s truly nothing bad about that! However, we should still be mindful. For most alcoholics and addicts like us, excitement and…

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Men’s Issues: Everybody Wants To Be The Lone Ranger

men lone ranger

Everybody has issues, whether they are an alcoholic, addict, both, or neither. Man, woman, or child, we all have problems. Culturally speaking, no matter what categories you fit into, we hear a lot of mixed messages — some of which are downright destructive. At Jaywalker Lodge, we deal exclusively with men who suffer from alcoholism, addiction, and mental and emotional health issues. Given that this is the group of people we spend helping day in and day out, we have noticed that some issues, hang-ups, and misconceptions appear quite frequently. Our passion is to do our part to end the cycle of chronic relapse and produce lasting recovery, but we can also address some of the common issues facing men in recovery. Our series on “Men’s Issues” was created with this goal in mind. Even the Lone Ranger Didn’t Work Alone Do you remember the Lone Ranger? He was a…

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Do I Have To Believe in God To Get Sober?

faith in sobriety

Faith and belief are both deeply personal, almost private issues. What each of us has faith or believes in, whether we are in or out of recovery, is entirely our business. Yet many alcoholics and addicts who come to 12-Step programs looking for help immediately find their minds closed upon seeing the words “God” or “higher power.” There is much — in fact, an entire chapter — written about this and what we can do to stop the misunderstanding from costing someone their recovery or even their life. Ultimately, however, it is up to each of us to remain open-minded as we seek help and recovery. We might do well to remember that our lives were ruined and nearly lost, to alcoholism and addiction. Wouldn’t freedom from that nightmare be worth maintaining an open mind? That question may seem obvious or reductive. The idea of faith, or the idea of…

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Pushing Past Fear in Recovery

courage man

For alcoholics and addicts who find recovery and become willing to do the work, it can seem like we have to start all over again. All our familiar habits, hangouts, and ways of thinking are out the window. This may seem difficult, but only until we realize that all these things contributed to killing us. It wasn’t really us who was living our life — it was our disease. Recovery at Jaywalker Lodge brings us back to life and gives us our life back. Thankfully, we can learn to turn our lives away from our disease and turn it over to our higher power. This is a process, and the only way to practice it is by working the 12-Step program of recovery and incorporating it into our lives. You Are Not Alone Everything in recovery seems new, or new all over again, to most of us. We don’t know…

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Persistent Anxiety in Treatment and Recovery

Recovery

Anxiety is an increasingly common mental health issue, but there is still much to be learned about how it affects people. Because symptoms can vary so widely, it leads to a lot of misunderstanding or improper handling of anxiety and anxiety-related issues. Anxiety is especially common among alcoholics and addicts. About 20 percent of people with social anxiety are also dependent on alcohol. Strangely enough, alcohol and substance abuse can actually produce anxiety or anxiety-like reactions in people. This all muddies the water to true understanding of this mental health issue, but there is more evidence linking alcoholism, addiction, and anxiety then there is separating them. Alcoholism and drug addiction can often aggravate or worsen anxiety or any other mental or emotional health issues that are already present. Our experiences in active alcoholism and addiction can even create mental and emotional health issues through trauma or other causes. The similarities…

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What Can I Do When I Feel Overwhelmed?

Coping When Overwhelmed

In these strange and scary times, it’s easy for anyone to get overwhelmed. We alcoholics and addicts are sensitive people for the most part, often prone to anxiety, depression, and panic. When the world has been turned upside down for pretty much everyone, it’s no wonder that our emotions are all over the place. Over the last several months, much of our day-to-day stability and routine has been turned on its head. When things are this disrupted, it can be normal to feel like we’re overwhelmed. We don’t have our usual stand-bys and routines as readily available to help us get right and get rooted. But as always, the program of recovery and the experience of people who are staying in recovery through similar events can provide some useful tips. So, how do we stay safe and protect our recovery when we feel overwhelmed? Remember to Breathe Of course, we…

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Action, Action, and More Action!

Taking Action During Recovery

Continuous action is near-impossible for anyone, but consistent action is an attainable goal for anyone who is willing to take things slow and steady. For alcoholics and addicts, we must stay vigilant against relapse in order to maintain our lives in recovery. Luckily for us, the things we do to prevent a slip are also the things that help us grow, experience life more fully, and feel more joy. It’s very much a win-win situation for alcoholics and addicts who remain willing to engage in the 12-Step program of recovery at Jaywalker Lodge. But make no bones about it, it does require action. Actions Speak Louder Than Words The types of action required vary depending on which of the 12-Steps we’re on with our sponsor or where we’re trying to grow in our life. Sometimes the action we need to take is to meditate, sometimes it’s to write a thorough…

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