The work **and gift of recovery!

Coffee, my journal, and a couple of recovery books makes for a peaceful morning.

I love those mornings when I don’t have to rush. Perfect time to dig into some recovery work. Because sobriety/recovery is an ACTIVE, living thing that requires work. It’s different from just “not drinking ” in that you’re actively working on all the reasons you drank. Because, believe it or not, the alcohol wasn’t the actual problem.

Alcoholics Anonymous has taught me that the alcohol is just a symptom of an underlying problem.

So even though I’ve been sober for 7 years, if I want to STAY SOBER and more importantly- grow & become a healthier person (i.e. deal with my crap), then there’s more work to be done than simply not picking up a drink.

Living life as a sober person still surprises the heck out of me! It wasn’t really in the plans I had for my life. In fact, alcohol was involved closely in most (okay, ALL) of my plans. It was always there.

So learning to not just live life and go through the motions~ but live a life I’m proud of & satisfied with involved a major change in perspective. And even though I have a lot of gratitude on a daily basis, I sitll sometimes find myself in a funk or out of balance.

I know, I know, “balance” is this great buzzword right now. As if anyone ever achieves a perfect balance in their work/family life and self-care routine! We can put a lot of pressure on ourselves to live this life of “balance” to the point that we feel constantly defeated.

That being said, once or twice a year I seem to find myself severly burnt out. Working so hard that I’m in pain and by the time I get home all I want to do is lay on the couch and binge-watch murder documentaries. It feels good for a couple of weeks.

But when those couple of weeks morphs into a couple of months and it’s still light out as you’re crawling into bed with your kindle, a greater knowing emerges. I’ve been here before. It’s like a warm, cozy blanket fort that I’m scared to emerge from.

I’ve crossed the line from self-care into isolation and slothfulness again. But eventually, I have to thrust myself back out into the world. Anxiety has crept it’s way back into my life, so there’s fear around going out into the world. Namely churches & AA meetings. Two of the places I really need to be.

But, again, I’ve been down this road before and I KNOW not to trust my feelings. Oftentimes, I should do the opposite! So I get myself to a meeting. Even if I don’t talk and I leave immediately afterwards; I get myself out of my comfort zone and go be around people.

I was telling a friend last week how this summer I hadn’t planted a single flower. You can usually tell where I’m at in life by my yard. If everythings dead and unkempt, that’s a pretty good indication of where I’m at mentally & emotionally!

This year it was more of tiredness and overwhelm, but still! I usually at the very least manage at least a flower pot on the porch. This year? Nada.

So my friend throws me a lifeline and says she’s got plants she needs to separate and offers them to me. I met her Tuesday morning to pick up the plants. Wouldn’t you know I forgot about those plants until the evening by which time my kindle and jammies were calling me??

**I forgot about the plants because I spent the day shopping and running around State College (PSU campus) with my sister. This was another thing I hadn’t done in a long time. I don’t love to shop. I don’t have any money. But I hadn’t spent the day with my sister in a long time and I needed to invest some time in being a sister again!

But I promised my friend & myself that I would plant those flowers, so out to the yard I went with my shovel and watering can.

Coming back into the cool 45 minutes later, I had a feeling of accomplishment. It felt GOOD to dig in the dirt. To do something! Outside! Away from my couch & kindle.

And now every night I’m out watering those plants. Yesterday I even grabbed my pruning shears and found an old pair of gardening gloves. I got out the wheel barrow and cleaned up the yard a bit.

And it felt GOOD!!!

I signed up to be the “coffee person” at my AA home group, which means I have to be there! Sometimes it’s small steps in the right direction.

Being intentional in the morning helps me set the tone for the rest of the day. How about you? Do you have a morning routine that you find helpful?