Well, we made it to Edmonton. This car trip wasn’t the best one, for sure, just ask Michael. Every four hours or so, I’d crumble into myself with an anxiety episode. Four hours after that, I’d forget about my previous episode and fall apart all over again in this cycle with no grounding like I’d never felt okay before. As swiftly as we make these mental shifts in sobriety and recovery, we are just as capable of shifting back into the old ways of thinking if we don’t take proper maintenance and care seriously. I did not prepare as well as I would’ve liked to for this transfer. I skimped on meditation, gave up on “May Cause Miracles”, ran maybe 3 times total, and just sort of sat on my mat wanting to be somewhere else. I let my priorities change because I wanted to pack our stuff and get organized before the move. I see now that taking a break from my daily routine in the days prior to moving was a BIG mistake. By the time we hit the road, it was obvious to both of us how important all of these seemingly small things actually are to my recovery.
Daily maintenance is necessary for anything to function properly. This really resonated with me during my time in AA since they stress regular attendance. You get a little weird and off track when you skip meetings, if AA is your sobriety MO. Since my sobriety MO, this time, began in the light of yoga, podcasts, meditation, essential oils, and coffee, my yoga practice and meditation make up what I would call a meeting: meaning it’s up to me to make sure I give them regular attention. These daily services that are essential to my sobriety now, will evolve as I evolve in this, but the foundation of my recovery must stay in tact for me to see any real, longterm progress.
Writing on this blog is a relatively new aspect of my sobriety routine, and I want to be able to devote ALL of myself to all of the things that I LOVE. It takes practice to know what works though. It takes leaving out the true pillars on this new path in sobriety to really find out what the true anything actually means to me. When you step out of yourself and breath again, the off brand version of the self love circle reveals itself. You know that it was never as good as the real thing. We’re only trying to survive here. We’re only trying to get out of a trap and live our lives in real time as who we’re really meant to be. If I stop doing the meditation that I’ve only practiced for maybe a year of my life, it’s sort of ridiculous to think that I’d have a solid foundation in my practice that would be strong enough to compete against two decades of fear based thinking and learned behavior without constant reinforcement. I am still learning what works for me. This is the ongoing lesson for us teetotalers, isn’t it? Luckily, we can learn in a workable frame without alcohol.
The thing about my sobriety now, and not being in AA, is that I’m finally pressured to make my own rules about how I carry myself. I get to make rules for myself in regards to other people for the first time in my life. Personal boundaries are innate for most people including those in AA, but I was really young back then and only wanted to follow their rules perfectly. Out in the open about my sobriety, this is the last thing in the world I am ashamed of, so the strength to protect my truth is within me already. It wasn’t anything I had to think about, like most good speeches, when I came to defend myself appropriately for the first time. I finally had to get honest with someone I met about my sobriety. It was an appropriate even defense. Since my sobriety gives me power now, it’s my responsibility and right to defend it. I like that. I like knowing that we get to decide who we let into our lives. Boundaries are just natural for some people, but I’ve had to work at them. It applies to myself, even. I have to set boundaries within myself. This is a part of my daily maintenance. All of the joy and tears you feel in sobriety are worth it. It’s never a waste. That’s my input on building a sobriety MO. I’m all for whatever works. Try lots of ways. ❤