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Aug 22

learning how to live

no quote today…wanted to share something i learned in school this last week…i’m taking this Health and Wellness class…it defines health as the state of a persons physiological being…wellness is the optimum position a persons health can be in…it also mentioned six dimensions of health, which i would like to share with you…i believe it relates to recovery, sobriety and the Twelve Step program

one dimension is physical…it is vitally important that we take care of our bodies, once quitting drugs and alcohol…years of neglect, abuse and excess can destroy not only brain cells, but other vital functions of our bodies…alcoholics risk suffering from cirrosis of the liver, and wet brain…intraveinious drug users risk contracting a number of deadly diseases, such as AIDS and Hepatitis…i know for me personally, i am more than likely experiencing developments of an ulcer…i have been in the hospital twice over the past couple of years for extreme cramping in my abdominal area…the first time, my large intestine had collapsed on itself, which required surgery to correct it…a couple of months ago, i returned, experiencing the same type of pain…fortunately, it corrected itself…the doctor told me a couple of different things could cause this to happen…one is stomach cancer, the other is an ulcer…i suspect the amount of pills i used to ingest cause an ulcer, or the beginnings of one…today, i have to watch what i eat and drink…avoiding caffiene and spicy foods

some other dimensions mentioned in my reading for school are mental and emotional…we are pretty much crazy when we come in to the rooms looking for help…i know i was an emotional wreck…i was incapable of making sound and rational desicions for myself…if we are serious about getting sober, most of us turn to a sponsor and the fellowship to help us make desicions in early sobriety…i know for me, i had faced a divorce after two months sober, which threw me into another fit of uncontrollable emotional anguish…all types of scenarios ran threw my head at how to handle this situation…obsession about my wife plagued me at every turn…it was leaning on guys in the program who had walked through divorce and seperation in sobriety that walked me through it…that and God, which brings me to the fourth dimension of health

spiritual health is paramount for recovering addicts and alcoholics…like it or not, it is going to take a miracle to remove the merciless obsession to use and booze from us…no human power can provide us the relief and comfort that is missing once we have stopped getting loaded…for some, this is a difficult venture…alot of naysayers and scoffers think of religion when those in the program speak of spiritual principles…but, that is not really true…a true 12 step program is not a religion, or a cult…we practice ideals and actions that are rooted in real concern for others well-being…giving of ourselves so that others may enjoy life is the keystone to spritual wellness…going through the process of the 12 steps, we stop asking for help and turn our attention to what our true purpose in life is…to be of maximum service to our fellows and the spirit of the universe who resides over us all…when i think of spirituality, i think of all the simple truths my mother and grandmother taught me…love and tolerance for all human beings…treat others like i want to be treated…share what has been given to me freely…listen to those in need…remain available for those seeking help…staying spiritually healthy keeps me right-sized and guides me to my place in the world

the social and environmental dimensions of health are also essential for those of use in recovery…surrounding ourselves with like-minded people and freeing our life of damaging or dangerous components are vital to our success…we tell newcomers after they come in to change their playmates, playthings and playplaces…i have no business going to the dope house today…if you hang around the barber shop long enough, you are going to get a haircut…i still have some contact with a couple old friends that use today, but you will not find me hanging out at their house everyday like i used to…most of my interaction with those still abusing drugs and alcohol is over the phone, or correspondence through e-mail and snail mail…occasionally we do get together, but when we do, i make sure to take a trusted friend in the program along with me…i also go to places where liquor is served, but only when it serves a purpose and i have a good reason for doing so…like live music events and office parties…i follow the same policy, tho…taking someone who is sober with me, and also hitting a meeting before or after the event…of course, i did not feel comfortable doing things like that in early sobriety…after some time and working through the steps, i had developed plans of action and tools to use when confronted with booze and dope…it is also very important to give yourself an out, if you do find yourself in an uncomfortable situation…make sure to take your own ride, so that you can leave should you become jittery or jonesy

these are only suggestions out of my experience…if you have a question about anything i talked about here, be sure to council with your sponsor before making any decision you might later regret…i’m just attempting to illustrate how important our health is as related to sobriety…going through the reading and participating in the activities of my class, i was reminded of the many facets of being clean…stopping getting drunk and high is only the begginning…we must continue the work and strive not only physically, but emotionally, mentally, socially and evironmentally sober

***oh yeah…the sixth dimension is nutrition, but i didn’t have alot to say about that…i know that my sponsor told me to eat when i get hungry…to sleep when i get tired…to talk to somebody when i’m lonely…etc. etc…alot of us real alcoholics seek sugary foods when first drying out…something to do the metaphysical aspects of alcohol, and how our bodies break it down…i know for me, it is essential for me to keep a balanced diet to provide energy to meet the demands of my day…it is so easy just to eat the foods that i like…but, i do find when i eat better, the quality of my life and the level of my energy is infinetely greater than when i am eating crap…eating junk also affects my mood and self-esteem…i’m reaching that age when i have to watch what i eat and stay active in physical excercise, if i want that girlish figure i had in my twenties…today, i still have that beer belly from my drinking days…lol***