I am a terrible runner and exerciser. For a while I did Crossfit only to injure myself halfway through the year. My feet are in terrible shape and I pay for it with every run. Pushups are the devil for me and pullups are a close second. Just this morning I was panting, wheezing and hating every single moment of my workout.
I’m telling you this because you need to hear it. Being physically active in your recovery is incredibly, incredibly important. Did I mention it was incredibly important? You need to find anyway that you can to be moving, grooving, shaking or lifting. Personally, I love the feeling of throwing heavy weights around in a gym but my partner prefers the feeling of running.
Exercise has been shown to improve the lives of people who are in recovery, battling addiction or mental health issues. Many studies report that exercise helps in rewiring the parts of the brain that reward us for those bad habits we have previously enjoyed so much. If we can rewire those parts of the brain then perhaps we have a chance at beating this.
Going back to yesterdays post on Intenional Living and Visioning, I’d include putting some time in to your visions that are specifically focused on health and exercise.
On a more personal note, I’ve decided to start including the number of days we’ve accumulated in sobriety. It’s not meant to be a badge of honour but a reminder that the journey is continuous and that confidence can be a silent threat (more on this in tomorrow’s post!). As of now, here at Live Rehab we’re 2327 days sober.
How many days has it been for you? Even if it is just 1,2 or 3 – that’s still a massive win.
To your recovery,
Today we’re talking about intentions versus resolutions. Everyone’s pretty familiar with the concept of New Year’s resolutions. For a lot of people, they can be very helpful; they can help you get in shape, they can help you potentially fall in love, they can help you to pick up an exercise habit for instance.
However, they don’t necessarily set you up for the exact kind of outcomes that you are looking for. In the sobriety world, it’s incredibly important that you are an active participant and a person who sets their intentions for what they want to achieve in their sobriety. That’s an important distinction to make and it’s one that we encourage people to spend some time and effort doing.
Yesterday we talked about gratitude and developing an attitude of gratitude. Here are just a few of the things that people were thankful for from yesterday’s post. Big thanks to everyone who participated by the way!
- My cat
- My mum
- being able to afford to eat
- my music
- 5th New Years Day in a row without a hangover!
- A warm dry place to sleep
- Food to eat
- Clothes to wear
- People i love and who love me
- Good health for me and my family
The reason we bring up yesterday’s post because today we’re talking about this concept of intention. Setting your intentions for what you want your life to be like enables you to build a very clear picture in your mind of what that ends up being for you.
It’s an important distinction between a resolution which is kind of a one-off thing that you achieved or it’s a state that you can get to. An intention is more about setting something into the world that you want to achieve and having the universe come back to you with the exact conditions needed for you to be a success.
You can set intentions in a couple of different ways. The most obvious way that a lot of people are probably familiar with is the concept of visioning. Visioning is an incredibly powerful way to set some intentions for your life; especially in sobriety. If you’re already in sobriety or in recovery and you haven’t set your intentions we would challenge you to examine the type of life you’re leading and whether or not it’s what you envisioned it would be.
Many people have never envisioned what that life will look like! So they end up living a life that they weren’t necessarily interested in living to begin with.
Through the process of intentional living, you can begin to see dynamic changes in your own life manifested in ways you never thought possible. Live Rehab is a perfect example where we’ve set our intentions early on that our life in sobriety was going to be fun and exciting while giving back to the community in various ways.
Things continue to happen for us and we’re now living that life because we set those intentions and the universe has responded by delivering situations like the Steemit community for instance.
Another way that you can set intentions is that you can spend time writing down things that you want to accomplish 3, 5, 10 years down the road.
These can be very specific. In fact, the more specific you can get on these things the more likely they are to come back to you in the exact manner or way you expect them to. So we would definitely encourage you to be extremely detailed in these.
We specifically exclude the first three years because the first three years are often the most difficult to get through in sobriety.
By focusing on the long-term vision and the long-term plan for yourself you end up getting into a situation where you’re much more in tune with what the future has to offer.
While we’re on the second day of January and lots of people around you are trying to keep that New Year’s resolution we want you to work deeper. We want you to work a little harder on the process. You want you to spend some time in those deep thought areas doing the work that really pays off.
So, like always, we like to challenge everybody who is reading to put some of their work into the comments. Let’s start off with this question:
What is something that you want to be doing in three years from now?
Thinking back to the early days of recovery I remember a certain sense of bewilderment and shock. Now some of that was certainly due to the fact I was no longer a chronic drinker but some of it was due to how the world would treat me now. Over time I’ve come to realise that nobody really talks about these things out loud. In fact, I’ve talked to many addicts who have been through professional rehab facilities that agree with these 7 things. So, without further adieu, here are the 7 things about recovery nobody tells you.
Your body is coming back to you like a foreign object
When you first stop drinking or smoking or snorting whatever it is you are addicted to, some changes occur in your body. Now you might be thinking – duh! Obviously. But what most people don’t realise is that the body you get back has been wrecked in ways you have no way of knowing. Your body won’t fully recover for years to come and, when it does, it’s going to be a different beast altogether.
People hate/admire what they don’t have
I’ve talked about WTF moments of sobriety before but you’ve got to prepare yourself, in advance, for the avalanche of fucked up shit you’re going to have to deal with. People are going to say the weirdest things to you. I won’t go into all of them but BE PREPARED!
Yep. You’re going to have lots more free time that you used to. It’s not all going to come back to you at one time though. For every 3 minutes you spend smoking a cigarette each day multiplied by number by day! That’s the trick though – you have to think about the time as adding up in general.
New things to fill that free time
Find some new things to fill that time. If you were a smoker for instance and took smoke breaks at work, try filling it with something else. Take a quick walk around the block. Fidget with some legos at your desk. You need to be an active participant in this stage. Find a hobby. Quick.
Extra brain power
This one is a bit weird and may not apply to everyone BUT lots of people we talk to find a surge in brain power. Now, some of this comes from not being in a fog or daze from the drugs or alcohol. But to get this affect it’s going to take a while. Some people report 6-12 months before this onset occurs. Be patient.
Your balance is going to get a bit wibbly wobbly for a while. Alcohol affects the equilibrium and it’s not until 3-9 months before it comes back properly. You’re going to see weird things happen over time including potentially being way off balance.
You find yourself
Ok this one was cheesy. But nobody prepares you for the emotional changes you end up experiencing until it settles in for real. Then you get to see, experience and feel the best possible version of yourself.
So, now we ask you, our Live Rehab community, what things have you noticed that nobody warned you about in recovery?
Chemical Dependency Professionals must be very aware of how family, social networks, and community play a role in the recovery process.
Taking these three things into consideration when making a treatment plan is crucial to the overall success of recovery. Not every person who is seeking a life free from addiction needs the same focus. For example, someone who has a strong familial support but lacks community access to treatment, would need a professional to help find them community supports. Whereas, if someone who is struggling with an addiction knows where to go and what to do but their familial support is non-existent or full of chaos, then the Chemical Dependency Professional knows they need to focus on the family unit rather than putting effort into community resources.
Of course, there’s always a spectrum and most professionals will find that their clients need a little or a lot of focus in one or more area but the important thing is for the professional to appreciate the various systems in order to provide the highest quality of care possible when treating any addiction.