Embracing the Impermanence

My sponsor has taught me many, many things. She is an example of what it means to be sober, what it means to be a friend and what it means to basically just be all around fantastic and awesome. When she talks, I listen. She is chock full of  little pearls of wisdom that blow my mind and make me think on an entirely different/deeper/more philosophical level.

While all these pearls of wisdom are helpful, there is one that she stresses to me over and over: “Embrace the impermanence”. She believes in these three words so strongly that she got a tattoo of them on her foot. And I figure if she believes in this enough to get it permanently inked on her body, it’s definitely something I should take the time to explore a little deeper. [Read more...]

The Four Agreements

One of the first things that we do when a client comes to Milestones is give them a copy of “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz. I have had clients tell me that this book has completely changed their lives, and I can totally relate because it did the same thing for me (not to mention millions of other people throughout the world).  “The Four Agreements” is an easy read, very simply written and coming in at only 138 pages, but in those pages lies “a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness and love”. [Read more...]

The Flip Side of the Ego

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post on the ego and the things I have to do to keep it in check and my head from getting so big that it floats away. And while that is definitely an issue for me, I also want to talk about the flip side of the ego – the voice that, instead of telling me how awesome I am, tells me how AWFUL I am. You know what voice I’m talking about – the voice that says you can’t do it, the voice that says you’ll fail, the voice that says you don’t deserve to be happy, the voice that says it’s only a matter of time before you drink again. I struggle with this voice often – self esteem has never been my strong point (an alcoholic with low self esteem? I’m such a unique snowflake…) and the years of drinking myself into oblivion just reinforced all the negative feelings I had about myself. I instinctively have a very negative self dialogue playing out in my head. [Read more...]

Don’t Let the Ego Get in the Way…

While I still consider myself a baby in sobriety and AA, I do have enough time under my belt (20 months) that my life has really improved. I mean, there was really nowhere to go but up when I quit drinking, but I am amazed at the transformation in my life in such a short period of time. I have a job that excites, challenges and fulfills me. I am surrounded by friends and family that love me. While I am not rich, I have enough money for all the things that I need and some of the things that I want.  I live with honesty and integrity. Believe me when I tell you that this is a far cry from my life at the bottom. [Read more...]

Because you gotta have faith…

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step. ” – Dr. Martin Luther King

 Faith can be a difficult thing. ESPECIALLY for alcoholics. We, as a rule, want the answers to all of our problems NOW. Having faith that things will work out for the best? Not our strong suit. Having faith in a Higher Power? DEFINITELY not our strong suit.

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A Quick Meditation

If anyone understands that meditation can be a struggle, it’s me. I have so many thoughts bouncing around in my head at any given moment, it can seem near impossible to slow down and take a few minutes to sit with myself and connect with my higher power. But, as my sponsor always says, meditation is NOT extra credit. It’s an essential part of the 11th step – if prayer is the act of talking to God (or whatever it is you call your higher power), then meditation is the act of listening. [Read more...]

Staying in Gratitude

Gratitude was always a foreign concept to me. I honestly thought that my life sucked so hard that I had nothing to be grateful for. All I did was drink, I had no friends, my job was going nowhere, I never had any money. Well, as they say, hindsight is 20/20. Now that I have some clarity, I can look back and be grateful for SO many things in that time period – I’m grateful I didn’t die from alcohol poisoning. I’m grateful I was never in a serious accident that killed me or someone else. I’m grateful that my family didn’t throw in the towel and disown me. There were a million things to be grateful for, but while I was drinking, I didn’t live in gratitude. I didn’t understand gratitude. But I do now. [Read more...]

I am WAY more fun sober than drunk. Here’s how.

When people find out that I am a recovering alcoholic, many of them automatically assume a number of things:

1)      I am boring.

2)      I drink an insane amount of coffee.

3)      I secretly wish all that coffee was Johnnie Walker Black.

4)      I am REALLY boring.

While I will cop to the fact that I drink more coffee than is reasonable, the other three statements are completely false. The fact that people think statement #3 applies to me doesn’t bother me too much; I don’t expect everyone to understand the whole “obsession being lifted” concept. However, people automatically assuming that I am boring  just because I don’t drink kind of grinds my gears. If I start talking your ear off about the subtle nuances between a Starbucks Vanilla Latte and a Starbucks SKINNY Vanilla Latte, by all means, write me off as a complete bore (and clearly cross addicted to caffeine). But thinking I’m no fun because I don’t drink?  Ridiculous. The truth of the matter is, I am way more fun now that I’ve gotten sober. Here are just a few areas in which my “fun factor” has greatly increased.

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50 Things to Do INSTEAD of Drinking/Using

When you stop drinking and using, all of a sudden you may be overwhelmed with a sudden increase in free time. Boredom is often sighted as a reason for relapse, so here is a list of 50 things to do instead of picking up a drink or a drug:

1)      Go for a hike.

2)      Volunteer.

3)      Plant a garden.

4)      Turn on the music in your living room and dance.

[Read more...]

Issues in Recovery: Sober Fun

For most people suffering from addiction issues, their entire social life revolves around drinking and using- hanging out at bars, going to parties, using with friends. When a person becomes sober, it can often feel like their social life is over and that they will never have fun again. Fortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth!! When done right, sobriety can offer more fun and enjoyment than a person in active addiction thought possible.

[Read more...]