I have been working incredibly hard on my alcoholism recovery and I thought it would be worth sharing some of the resources and strategies I’ve been putting into place to help me get through the ebbs and flows of my rehab.
Reading, Reading & More Reading
I’ve spent a lot of time reading, since I’m sober, I have a lot of free time on my hands (plus with this free time I’m also able to be productive). Over the past few months I’ve found the following books to be incredibly inspiring:
AA Big Book – This is perhaps the most essential guide to my recovery. My sponsor and I Have been reading through this book when we meet, and I am actively working the steps.
Daring Greatly (Brene Brown) – This book is AMAZING, it talks about courage, shame and vulnerability and how you need to be vulnerable to have courage. This book has been even more inspiring to me since I found out that Brene is 23 years sober and went through Alcoholics Anonymous.
Moment of Lift (Melinda Gates) – this book is incredibly inspiring in that Melinda recounts stories of women and girls she has met through her work with the Gates Foundation. I’ve found this book really hones in how my problems really are first world problems and has helped me put myself into perspective.
Buddhism for Mothers (Sarah Napthali) – A girlfriend recommended I read this book to give me some strategies on how to deal with my kids. I’m not a buddhist, nor do I intend to convert, however I find the teachings and the strategies around the 4 noble truths to be very relatable and have been helping me.
I recently did a post on exercise, but this is something that has been helping me a lot, particularly when it comes to my anxiety and depression.
My husband works really long hours and getting to a conventional gym can be difficult, but alas, I have joined Anytime Fitness, these gyms are amazing, have fabulous equipment and can be accessed 24 hours a day. Another great advantage of these gyms is that they have hundreds (maybe even thousands) of locations across the world.
If I can’t make it to the gym, I try and do a small workout at home, although this can be challenging with small children.
Alcoholics Anonymous Network
My Sponsor has been a tremendous source of support for me, as have the other wonderful people I have met through AA. It really is a community of people who actually want to selflessly help other people. There are several members who I check in with (and they check in with me) as well as who send me inspirational text messages and emails.
However, I did want to add with AA that you need to be pragmatic and have your guard up to some degree. Whilst the majority of alcoholics are doing everything they can to achieve sobriety, there are alcoholics who ‘bust’ from time to time, this can be devastating to watch. Also, there are some members who are slightly needy, and again this is something that I am certainly cautious of.
I’ve been taking an antidepressant (Zoloft) and also an anti-anxiety medication (Valium), these do help me, however I am also conscious that valium is addictive. But to be honest, I don’t use valium that regularly as I find it makes me too lethargic (not ideal when you are looking after young children.
Many years ago I tried Campral to stop drinking, my experience with this was it didn’t work. Ultimately I didn’t want to stop drinking so I simply stopped taking the drug. Also, I’ve spoken to many AA members who have tried this with no success. Ultimately your desire to stop drinking is a mental obsession and unless your ready, a drug like campral alone isn’t going to help.
So how is my recovery going?
So as I have written I have days that are fantastic and days that are really low, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Writing has been incredibly therapeutic and I hope that my experiences can help someone else.
In my opinion, alcohol is the most evil drug available. It is far too accessible and socially acceptable and in fact, there is almost peer pressure to drink alcohol because people notice when you are NOT drinking. Alcohol is embedded in every social occasion, we celebrate, commiserate and find solace in alcohol, yet it is one of the most evil drug available.