This is a blog series that will be focusing on one tip every few days for newcomers. These tips are not a replacement for going to meetings and working the 12 steps. They are to be used in addition to meetings and steps. The first few months of sobriety are hard. These are some ways to help get you through it.
Yesterday we talked about Taking it One Day at a Time, staying in the day, not trying to fix the past in one day and the uselessness of worrying. Which leads us to our next tip:
Communication is Key
Addiction can be very isolating, so talk to your recovery friends and sponsor about your challenges. While it may be tough, the support system you create will give you an enormous boost. They will be there when you need them and will help you stay motivated and focused.
There is this ingrained stubbornness of most alcoholics and addicts that “I can do anything I put my mind to” or “Its a sign of weakness to ask for help.” There is also the over-bloated ego that wants us to put on the “I’m fine” mask and walk around pretending that we aren’t crumbling on the inside. Your friends will ask, “How are you doing?” What’s the common response from someone newly sober? “Fine!” Do you know want “fine” really stands for in this case? F.I.N.E. = Freaked out, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional.
It’s a Two-Way Street
If you are newly sober you probably aren’t doing ok, but that’s ok. Talk to a friend in recovery. They were once newly sober too. They can share their experiences with you. When I was newly sober I didn’t feel like burdening anyone with my troubles. I figured people were too busy to hear about my petty frustrations and how I felt like I was riding the roller coaster of emotional hell.
When you bottle up your problems you not only harm yourself and your recovery but you also rob the person who would be listening to you the opportunity to enhance their recovery. It is essential for those of us who have been freed from alcoholic torture to give back to the newcomer. It’s a two-way street. Helping you, helps us.
I love this picture of the two dogs. One of the dogs is blind and needs the other one to lead him around, but I believe the other dog needs the blind dog just as much because it gives him a sense of purpose.
Finding Healthy Friends
So now that you know that you aren’t being a burden, who do you share your problems with? Well don’t go to the sickest person in the room. You will get some sick suggestions. Find some healthy friends in sobriety. Don’t know how to bond with other women yet? A2WG events can be a fun way for you to get to know other women alcoholic/addicts. You’ll make some life long friends, maybe not at the first event, but come to a few events and you’ll start to see why surrounding your with strong women in recovery can be the best thing you can do for your recovery… besides meetings and the 12 steps.
Friends pick us up when we fall down, and if they can’t pick us up, they lie down and listen for a while
Keep this thought in mind… A problem shared is a problem cut in half.
What are some ways that communicating has enhanced your sobriety? Sharing your experience may help someone.
Tomorrow we will be discussing Tip Four: “Having a Positive Environment”
Peace, Love & Sobriety