It has been explained to me that my alcoholism is Mental, Physical, and Spiritual. Previously on Medium and my website dharmaholic.com, I have written at length about the Spiritual and Mental parts of the malady, alcoholism.
For 10 years or more I have been looking for an easy, simpler way to stay sober and be happy.
There is a lot of pain around the internet and in my real world relating to addiction, and it seems to be getting worse.
Here are a few things that have worked for me – and I’m pretty sure they’ll be beneficial for you if you are in early sobriety. The last point will certainly save you a lot of money and may save your life.
When I got sober I began going to Buddhism classes weekly and then more frequently, and eventually, I decided that eating animals wasn’t a good option for me.
So naturally and organically, my eating style centred more and more on fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds. However, you decide to moderate your diet, make some investigations and set yourself small goals.
These steps can be revolutionary as you discover a better way to be kind to yourself. Let’s face it. Drugs and alcohol are not good for you and you wouldn’t feed them to your children or pets. It’s time to love YOU.
The first two things are free and easy.
Breathe and Drink Water
2 litres a day seems to be the required amount. Teas, especially Green Tea is a substitute if you think water is boring.
Shirley Smith says in ‘Set Yourself Free’, “Our physical reality becomes distorted and imbalanced by addictive behaviour. Although we don’t know it, we need our addictions to relieve stress and pain. However, instead of regarding our bodies as instruments to be relieved of stress and pain, we can look to them as instruments through which to fel and express energy, pleasure and optimum health.”
Move Your Body
Looking for a new exercise plan is easy – Google. But making a decisive first step is harder.
So make a decision today that you will walk each day – however far you are comfortable with at first. When I’m lazy I walk 30 mins to a coffee shop and then walk home after a nice relaxing peek at the world.
Try getting some sunshine and fresh air every day. Maybe do actual ‘Breathing Exercises’. The mindfulness of breathing meditation is both good for your lungs and mind.
I also like swinging a kettlebell around at home and planking. Learn about these if you like on Youtube or join a yoga class, with the added benefit you’ll meet others trying to improve their lives as well. (n.b. Yogis and Yoginis can be as weird as Alchies!)
Alan M. Rosenwasser, professor of psychology at the University of Maine, told Science Daily: “It seems that alcohol intake and voluntary exercise represent two forms of inherently rewarding behaviour, and the rewarding effects of these two behaviours may partially substitute for one another. This finding suggests that the two behaviours are regulated by overlapping systems in the brain.”
Don’t Drink Alcohol
Attempt to do each of these things each day – set yourself up for success with a plan. Then, DON’T DRINK BETWEEN ACTIVITIES.
I know you know all of this.
It’s simple, but it’s not easy. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be the most overweight, drugged and drunk, credit-dependant and anxious cohort in history.
Here’s the list in case you missed it.
- Eat Well
- Breathe and Drink Water
- Move Your Body
- Don’t Drink Alcohol
This element of recovery is covered in more depth in our free 5-day Stop Drinking – Start Living Course.