Month: June 2021

The Gift of Responsibility

responsibility

Responsibility is often overlooked when it comes to treating alcoholism and addiction. Jaywalker Lodge understands that freedom is proportional to the responsibility we accept for our lives. And freedom is what recovery is all about — freedom from alcoholism and addiction, freedom from our grosser handicaps, and freedom to live a life of happiness, joy, and purpose. Freedom is everything in recovery, but freedom only grows if the responsibility we’re willing to shoulder grows. Far too often, the very concept of responsibility has a hard time sticking in our world. Not only is responsibility often disdained by alcoholics and addicts like us, but most of the people in our lives (sometimes including those who wish to help us) are unwilling to trust us with responsibility. We have to admit this is fair, given that in our disease we are very seldom responsible for much else besides pain and destruction. Through…

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Yesterday’s Home Runs Don’t Count in Today’s Game

resting on your laurels

Anybody who has spent time in recovery or read the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous enough has heard the phrase “resting on our laurels.” This is an old saying based on Greek and Roman culture, where winners of competitions were granted crowns of laurel leaves (laurels). Resting on our laurels is when we are too easy on ourselves, counting on our past successes to carry us through the present and the future. A modern version of this saying is “Yesterday’s home runs don’t count in today’s game.” The meaning is the same — our past successes are wonderful, but they aren’t enough to live fully in the present or keep fear of the future at bay. In recovery, sayings like this take on a slightly new meaning. What they come to mean in the rooms of recovery would be something like “The work you did for your recovery yesterday won’t…

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How Can I Change Everything?

change

When we are new in recovery, we often hear the silly slogan “The only thing you have to change is everything.” It’s said in jest, but it’s also true to a large degree. For those of us who are new to recovery, this can seem like a tall order. Never mind the fact that we’re new in recovery and so much is already changing, but we have to change everything? There’s a lot of helpful information that we can learn about this phrase and what the intense goal of changing “everything” really means.The Goal: Everything First, we need to examine this goal closely. Changing everything is a lot! Is this something we genuinely want for ourselves, something we feel pressure to do, or was it something somebody told us? We need to look at the source of this goal and do some serious contemplating. The reason that the recovery community tells…

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Closeness in This Time of Distance

community

It’s far too easy to feel totally isolated and disconnected these days. Many of us have spent a long time separated from our loved ones, families, friends, and recovery community. We’ve been apart for a long time — and whether we’re in recovery or not, human beings are not meant to live in isolation. We are social creatures. We need closeness and togetherness. The society of our fellow man is a vital, necessary, and beautiful part of life. The list of benefits gleaned from spending time with other people and the incredible gifts that come from endeavoring to help those people is simply immense. It’s practically the key to a full and happy life, especially for those of us in recovery. There have been some significant obstacles to experiencing closeness and community lately. Let’s take a look at some ways that we can still be close to our people and…

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The Society of Our Fellows

community in recovery

Isolation and “Lone Wolf syndrome” are extremely common modes of operation for alcoholics and addicts. The reason why going solo is so popular among people like us is complicated. It’s partly because we are defiant, independent people, and partly because we are often very emotionally sensitive people. We like to do our own thing and we get frustrated when something stands in our way, so we go it alone. We also like to try and feel good all the time, and many of our actions, habits, and behaviors can cause harm to those around us. We don’t like hurting people or making them sad, so we find it easier to live alone as much as possible. The problem is that going it alone does harm in its own way, too. We can’t avoid our way into or out of relationships. No matter how independent, isolated, or alone we make ourselves,…

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Will I Always Inventory About the Same Things?

personal inventory

Hopefully, if you’ve been in recovery for even a little bit of time, you’ve gotten busy with the 12 Steps. If this is the case, you’ve likely encountered the 4th Step and the 10th Step. These are commonly referred to as the personal “inventory” steps. Even if we’re new to the 12-Step program, we’ve probably heard a lot about the inventory steps — including a lot of mixed reviews. Some people dread inventory, while others swear by it. We can only assume that if it’s part of the 12 Steps, it isn’t optional if we want to recover and live a happy life. Nor could it possibly be something to fear or dread, or even remotely harmful, because the 12 Steps are designed to help us find freedom and recovery. What seems to be the biggest reason that personal inventory gets a bad rap is that sometimes things can get…

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Outside Issues: Diet and Nutrition

diet and nutrition

We take on a lot in early recovery. Pretty much everything about our lifestyle changes. We have new things to do like attending meetings and working the 12 Steps. We have a whole new community of friends in the recovery fellowship. We find fun new ways to spend our time sober and reinforce the joy of our life in recovery. But there is one area of our lives that isn’t mentioned frequently in the recovery literature: our physical health. While everything changes for the better in early recovery, we don’t pay much attention to our physical health. Just by being abstinent from substances, our health has already improved greatly! So of course, we don’t think too much about it. But perhaps there are some things we should consider about this often overlooked area of our lives in recovery.Recovery and Health The 12-Steps and the recovery literature don’t say much about…

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