Tom from SAA invited me to join him at an NA (Narcotics Anonymous) fellowship meeting today. Neither of us are drug addicts, but my alcohol addiction is pretty much solely related to drug misuse many years ago.
As Phil from AA said to me on Thursday, all 12 step fellowships are the same, you just replace alcoholic with gambler or addict etc. It’s being in the room that’s important. Hearing about peoples recoveries helps me keep the faith and stay sober and hearing about peoples struggles makes me grateful for my sobriety.
As I turned up I got a ‘hi, i’m David’ and a hug. I’d never met the chap before, but it’s that kind of welcome that instantly tells me I’m in the right place with the right people.
After yesterdays uncomfortable blind siding in the pub, I chose to follow my 4 step routine to the letter again today. I did’t get up until Tom phoned and woke me at about 11:30, but as soon as I was awake I was on a mission. We arranged to meet at 15:30 for NA, so I got up, showered, dressed, ate breakfast, read my daily affirmations and then did my meditation.
I am absolutely convinced that the key to my continued recovery is daily meditation, as it just helps keep me present and mindful for the rest of the day.
On Thursday I didn’t have time to meditate before I left the house and didn’t beat myself up for not making the time later to complete the exercise. On Friday I convinced myself I was either too tired or too busy and so I paid the consequences in the pub that evening.
Today, with just 20 minutes of meditation under my belt, I have remained in control for pretty much the whole time. I have been able to watch my thoughts for what they are, rather than get caught up in them. Objectification is a real bugger, because the minute I objectify a women, I’m then nanoseconds away from wilfully entertaining my fantasies, which undoubtedly leads to some sort of euphoric recall. The consequences of these simple thoughts is an emotional reaction that can trigger further feelings and thoughts that make me want to act out.
If meditation helps me stay present and in control of my thoughts then it’s worth me making the time every day to practice it. I generally feel more peaceful, calmer and happier when I meditate. It’s my ego that tries to fool me every day into thinking I don’t need to meditate, so I MUST make it part of my routine upon waking.
I also made the effort to call out to a couple of people that I hadn’t called before. It was just nice to speak to them about what had happened the night before and both of them were able to offer support and guidance.
I like Phil’s saying:
If you keep going into a barbers shop, you’ll keep getting your hair cut. If you keep going into a pub, sooner or later, you’ll end up drunk.
I also need to acknowledge that I’ve now had 6 consecutive stable, good days. My mum this evening made the point that this is the longest she has seen me consistent since I moved back home in August last year.
I actually think I’m starting to get better.
I’m realising that I don’t have to be invincible and that I have limits. I’m learning to live within my own limits.
It’s a bit like the financial advice that we hear, if you live beyond your means sooner or later you’ll end up bankrupt. I’m treating my mental and physical health in the same way that I now treat my finances. If I live within my means, I remain fit and well.
I only need to live within my means today, because in doing so I am rewarded everyday.