I heard a friend with long-term sobriety tell her story the other day and she made the topic of discussion after she spoke, “What do you do for self-care to maintain your sobriety?”
Immediately, I thought of how selfish I was as an active alcoholic. Now, in my sobriety, I struggle with the line between self-care and self-indulgence—the latter leading me back to my selfish nature, which will surely take me back to wanting to check out!
I have to go back to God’s Will, not mine, be done. Not always easy to do.
My “go-to” for getting out of selfish mode, is to help someone else in need. Go to a meeting and reach out to another struggling alcoholic. Call somebody who is struggling. Help somebody by listening. Sponsoring other women is a “high” for me. But too much of that can be draining.
The trouble with this for me is that I can go all in and go overboard on the “helping thing” (one of my character defects) and lose myself in the process, becoming drained. At that point I am helping at the expense of myself, which, makes me irritable and discontent.
This is a slippery slope.
Self-care is the antidote, but I struggle with feeling selfish when I do something just for me. I have to say out loud to myself, “Heidi, it’s ok to NOT help somebody else today. Just take care of you and concentrate on filling your reservoir back up.” You can’t help someone else when your reservoir is empty.
One thing I do for self-care is golf with my sober friend. It gets me out in the open air exercising and not thinking for a few hours. If I am having a not-so-great round, it becomes a walk in the park. Yesterday, we almost had the course to ourselves and as I strolled peacefully to the next tee box, I looked up and saw these palm trees above me. God’s grace washed over me and I felt filled again and at peace. Nature always does that for me. Ahhh, self-care can be wonderful, arming me once again for the service that I am so grateful to be able to do—now that I am sober.
Showing up for others sober is the high I seek now.
Helping YOU is my drug of choice.
“How can I help?”
“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.”
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