Jul 07

the new routine of sober living

“Many who used to begin the day with an eye-opener in the bathroom now head for coffee in the kitchen. Some of us shifted the order of things we did to prepare for the day, such as eating before bathing and dressing, or vice versa. A change in brands of toothpaste and mouthwash (be careful about the alcohol content!) gave us a fresh, different taste to start out with. We tried a little excercise or a few quiet moments of contemplation or meditation before plunging into the day.

“Many of us also learned to try a new route when we first left the house in the morning, not passing by a familiar watering hole. some have switched from the car to a train, from the subway to a bicycle, from a bus to walking. Other joined a different car pool.”  Living Sober booklet…p. 20

i really like this booklet…it has so much practical, useful advice for the newcomer that is not mentioned in the main text…alot of us don’t know what to do with ourselves once we stop getting loaded…boredom can easily set in and the simple, normal, and everyday actions we’ve always taken can sometimes be a trigger setting off cravings or obsessive thought

it can be as simple as walking into a convenience store…i know for me, it was exceptionally hard to walk past that freshly iced bucket of tall boys on my way back to the soda cooler…even just grabbing the handle on the door to pull my coke out brought back old feelings…just getting off work was dangerous and scary for me in early sobriety…i had to learn ways to combat the old practices and develop new habits

something i like to instill in sponsees early on is coming up with a plan of action for the day…whether that means planning the night before, or waking up and thinking of how to approach the day…it was vitally important for me to be accountable and have certain places to go, certain people to meet, at certain times of the day…leaving any spare time for me to mull around and decide what to do with myself was like playing with fire…the more time i had to sit around and think was leaving more time for the sick thoughts to fill up my head

staying busy and focused on the tasks at hand were (and still are!) essential for early recovery…calling my sponsor every day…getting to the meeting…emptying the dishwasher and taking out the trash at home…keeping literature handy (i still keep a Grapevine in the work truck for emergencies!)…stopping by a family members house and seeing if they have anything that needs tending to…anything to keep our minds off the drink or drug