How will I deal with the holidays?
We all have expectations for the holidays. We want everything to go right, be fun, but the reality for some is that it’s a sad time of the year. Stress, fear and sadness comes from many directions. It can be from over committing, trying to make everything perfect or loneliness. But for most of us it has to do with our daily struggle because of addiction.
We’re not alone. There are many that struggle, even the ones that fake their way through it. When we see all those cheerful people in the malls looking all happy, you’d be surprised how many actually feel blue. They just don’t want to be honest and show their true feelings. Many of us have to deal with the crazy relatives, parties you don’t want to be at, or the long lines at the stores. Why do you think they call it: “Surviving the holidays.”
On Tuesday May 19, 2015 twenty ladies attended a private recovery-infused yoga session, booked just for the Ann Arbor Women’s group.
Executive director of Recovery-Infused Yoga, Lindsay Dolan, led us through an invigorating hour of “poses with a purpose.” We each chose an intention for our practice and then focused on our bodies, seeking a calm, non-reactive mind.
Positions were challenging for most of us, but beneficial to mind/body/spirit. We ended the hour relaxed and strangely rested. A2WG (i.e., Eileen) provided cold water and tasty protein bars. Many thanks to Lindsay for sharing Recovery-focused Yoga with us.
Amy T. (Member of the A2WG board)
“Anything we can do to help foster the intellect and spirit and emotional growth of our fellow human beings, that is our job. Those of us who have this particular vision must continue against all odds.
Life is for service.”
— Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, Fred Rogers
I couldn’t agree more with Mr. Rogers. The recovery literature states over and over that we are to be of service to others, help others, carry a message of recovery, be altruistic ect. which makes sense since we are told selfishness is our biggest barrier to long term recovery and happiness (along with resentments). So to do selfless actions is the “cure” for selfishness, right? But is there a point where there is too much service work?
Times Have Changed
The Big Book was written in 1939. There was only one woman in *AA at the time. The man’s responsibility was to work and pay the bills. The women took care of the household and the children. Most households had two parents back then. Divorce wasn’t commonplace. Men in recovery went to work and after work they could dedicate their evenings to AA and helping other alcoholics. They weren’t tied to the house with children or household chores. Ok, I know I’m generalizing but as a whole, the 1930’s and 1940’s were very much like this. During that time AA was mostly a men’s organization.
Discipline Is The Horse I Ride
If you are looking for balance in your recovery then it requires discipline in the sense that you have to take care of the physical, spiritual, emotional and social aspects of your life. It’s all about emotional sobriety. Mark Houston used to say, “discipline is the horse I ride.” He was referring to the necessary daily actions of recovery. You can’t neglect your physical health or you will get sick. You can’t neglect your spiritual health or you will become selfish and the recovery literature states, “Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kill us!” (*Alcoholics Anonymous pg. 63). Well we definitely don’t want that!!
Don’t Stop Going to Meetings
You can’t become emotionally sick because then you will want to self medicate those negative emotions away. Self-medicating can come in the form of alcohol or drugs, shopping, gambling, sex, relationships, over-eating, purging, cutting… etc.
You can’t become socially sick or you will have no support system to turn to. Whatever you do, don’t stop going to meetings!! I’m sure you’ve heard it a thousand times at a meeting where someone comes back from a relapse and they say, “I stopped going to meetings and eventually I relapsed.” Finally, you can’t become mentally sick or the obsession of the mind returns and eventually you will drink and drug again.