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2018 Recovery MonthHaving a Life of Purpose

Our values in life are the things that we hold most dear and have the most meaning in our lives. Without values our lives lack any form of significance. However, when we live in accordance with our values our thinking, choices and decision making will align with our actions.

Some of our core values include:

  • Dependability – the quality of being able to be trusted and being willing to do what others expect of us.
  • Reliability – the quality of being trustworthy and performing consistently well.
  • Loyalty – is someone who is loyal and trustworthy. They are the type of person that will be there for you at any time or any place. Loyalty also includes fidelity and faithfulness.
  • Commitment – involves dedicating yourself to something or someone. It can also be an obligation.
  • Open-mindedness – is a willingness to consider new ideas without prejudice.
  • Consistency – the ability to remain the same in behavior, attitudes or qualities.
  • Honesty – if you tell the truth you possess the quality of honesty
  • Efficiency – the quality of being able to do a task successfully without wasting time or energy.

Addiction takes us away from our values. When we are in the throes of our addiction, nothing is more important to us than getting our next fix or drink. We become self-absorbed and honesty along with our other values goes out of the window.

As our addiction progresses, we drift further and further away from the things we hold most dear. We do and say things that go against everything that we once believed in and the more pain we cause the more unhappiness, regret, guilt and shame we carry around with us. So what do we do? We continue to use so that we don’t have to face our feelings.

When we have a moment of clarity, we start to see how our values and personal goals have been undermined by our addiction and the desire to make changes and try something different starts to increase.

When we work in accordance with our values, success in recovery also increases and when our actions are in alignment with our values, we do better and we feel better about ourselves. However, we must not get complacent because keeping in conscious contact with our values is a lifelong practice.

Recovery is also about investing in healthy lifestyle habits

Staying active is a huge part of recovery as it helps our physical and mental well-being. Some activities might include:

  • Hiking
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Surfing
  • Jogging
  • Walking
  • Working out at the gym
  • Tennis
  • Yoga
  • Acupuncture
  • Meditation
  • Massage

Remember to start slowly and don’t overdo it in the being.

Eating healthy

Some useful tips include:

  • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables
  • Make half the grains you eat whole grain
  • Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk
  • Choose a variety of lean protein food
  • Compare sodium in foods
  • Drink water instead of sugary drinks
  • Cut back on solid fats

Get enough sleep

When you don’t get enough sleep you are depriving your body and this means that you’re starting your day on a deficit. Seven to eight hours of sleep is recommended for most adults.

Proper sleeping habits are necessary for a healthy life. Here are a few helpful suggestions:

  • Avoid napping during the day.
  • Avoid coffee at least 6 hours before going to bed.
  • Avoid alcohol, nicotine and street drugs.
  • Don’t eat a heavy meal before going to bed.
  • Don’t watch TV that will over stimulate your mind.
  • Keep your room dark and have minimal noise in your room.
  • Go to bed at the same time each night.
  • Use some form of relaxation method to help calm you.
  • Take a warm bath.
  • Don’t over exercise just before going to bed as your body needs time to wind down and relax.
  • If you’re having trouble falling asleep or if you wake up in the night, don’t lie in bed thinking about other things or worrying that you can’t sleep, because this will only make you more agitated; get up and do something relaxing until you feel tired enough to go back to sleep.
  • If you sleep problems persist consult a medical professional for help.

Develop new hobbies

In early recovery it is important to change up your routine, so developing new interests or hobbies is essential. Here are a few ideas:

  • Join a gym
  • Take an art class
  • Go back to school
  • Take up photography
  • Learn a musical instrument
  • Go hiking
  • Take a cooking class
  • Volunteer your time

By developing new interests it not only gets you out of the house, but it also takes the focus off your problems and you get to learn something new.

Spirituality

Another healthy habit is getting in touch with your spiritual side and this can include:

  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Buddhism
  • Mindfulness
  • Breathwork
  • Walks in nature
  • Listening to music

Self-help and recovery support groups

Recovery from alcohol and addiction is an ongoing event and support and self/help groups are essential. These groups provide a sense of connectedness with like-minded individuals from your community.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) www.aa.org

The original self-help meeting was an AA meeting and it was founded in 1935 by a stockbroker named Bill W. and a physician named Dr. Bob. Together they found sobriety by sharing their stories with one another. Today the AA meetings still follow that same format and members continue to share their stories of strength and hope. Connecting with other people who know first-hand what others are going through can help reduce fear, isolation and hopelessness. Meetings are free and there is no membership requirements attendance is limited to people who want to stop using alcohol.

Al-Anon/ALATEEN www.al-anon.org

Al-Anon or Alateen offers hope and strength to families and friends affected by alcoholism.

Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA) www.adultchildren.org

Adult Children of Alcoholics is also a 12 Step program for people who grew up in an alcoholic or dysfunctional home.

Cocaine Anonymous (CA) www.ca.org.

Is a 12 Step program for people struggle with cocaine addiction.

Crystal Meth Anonymous (CMA) www.crystalmeth.org

Is a 12 Step program for people struggle with cocaine addiction.

Narcotics Anonymous (NA) www.na.org

Is a 12 Step program for people struggle with drug addiction.

Nar-Anon Family Groups (Nar-Anon) www.nar-anon.org

Nar-Anon is a 12 Step program offers hope and strength to families and friends affected by alcoholism.

SMART Recovery www.smartrecovery.org

SMART Recovery holds face-to-face meetings around the world, and daily online meetings. It also has online message board and 24/7 chat room where you can learn more about SMART Recovery and obtain addiction recovery support. SMART Recovery helps people recover from all types of addictive behaviors, including: alcoholism, drug addiction, gambling addiction, cocaine
addiction, and other forms of addiction.

Refuge Recover https://refugerecovery.org/

Refuge Recovery is a non-profit organization grounded in the belief that Buddhist principles and practices create a strong foundation for a path to freedom from addiction. It believes that all individuals have the power and potential to free themselves from the suffering that is caused by addiction. Refuge Recovery is independent from any other organization or individual and recognizes Noah Levine, the author of the book Refuge Recovery, as one of its founders.

LifeRing Secular Recovery https://lifering.org/

LifeRing Secular Recovery is a secular, non-profit organization, providing peer-run addiction recovery groups. The organization provides support and assistance to people seeking recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. It also assists partners, family members and friends of those in recovery to have a supportive environment.

It is up to you which type of self-help meeting you choose as each one brings its own special qualities. However, it is a well-known fact that active involvement in a support group significantly improves the chances of staying sober.