Most alcoholics and addicts unwittingly become accustomed to negative circumstances, high-stress feelings, and what we often call “bad luck.” While everyday life does sometimes bring these things, it’s seldom as negative and stressful as our life in active alcoholism or addiction was. Unfortunately, many alcoholics and addicts like us get so used to the worst parts of life that we can have a hard time adjusting to a more calm, peaceful, and productive way of living. We walk around tense without even knowing it, quietly waiting for “the other shoe to drop.”
We are not meant to live our lives looking over our shoulders for bad karma to catch up with us. The 12-Steps are designed to help us process, reconcile, and make right our checkered pasts to the best of our ability. This 12-Step recovery program is designed to help us break free from the past and teaches us how to thrive in that newfound freedom. Still, alcoholics and addicts like us can be so unfamiliar with this new way of life that we unconsciously resist it.
There are infinite amounts of useful practices, modes of thinking, and perspectives to be garnered from repeated working of the 12-Steps, regular meetings, and counsel from our support network at Jaywalker Lodge to help us learn how to accept the good that comes into our lives as we walk the road of recovery. Here are just a few helpful things to keep in mind as you learn how to embrace the good.
Practice the Right Perspective
Try to remember how lucky you are to be alive and sober. That’s already a major good right there. It may seem like a simple notion, but if you really understand the nature of alcoholism and addiction, every day we wake up sober and alive is a literal blessing. Even on a bad day, we experience so much good. We only need to see it clearly. So many people who have the same disease we do aren’t able to achieve lasting sobriety or happy recovery. It’s a miracle that we’re here awake and sober at all. Even on the hard days, if we are breathing and sober, there is some serious good happening in our lives.
Keeping our minds clear, in the present, and filled with positive thoughts is important for our mental health and recovery, but it is also vital to maintaining a proper perspective. Meditation and prayer can provide remarkable help in keeping us grounded, hopeful, and thinking clearly. When we practice meditation, we can begin to let go of that feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop, and we can finally start to get comfortable with all the positivity and good at work in our lives.
We must also do our best to remember that recovery isn’t about justice and punishment for our past in active addiction — not at all. Recovery at Jaywalker Lodge is about learning how to live happy, meaningful lives. Our alcoholism and addiction already dished out plenty of punishment to us and to our loved ones. It’s time to try to focus on the good and spread it around to all who love us. If our present isn’t all that we’d like it to be, we always have the chance for a better tomorrow as long as we stay sober, stay teachable, and stay hopeful. After that, all we need to do is the work.
Forgive Yourself and Others
The very idea of forgiveness is hard for many alcoholics and addicts. We struggle to forgive those who have wronged us, and often we struggle even harder to forgive ourselves. Yet we must attempt the freeing journey of forgiveness through the 12-Steps, both for ourselves and for others.
Forgiving what has come before opens the door for new ways of living, feeling, and behaving. In short, letting go of past harm makes room for the present and future good making its way to us.
The other important part of forgiveness is that until we forgive ourselves and others, we cling to a punishment mentality — that neither us, nor them, deserve anything good because we all still have to suffer for the past. This false justice serves only to keep everyone suffering, and life has plenty of that all on its own.
If we exercise and practice our capacity for allowing and embracing good, we just might be surprised by how much good there really is in this life. Forgiveness is a big part of allowing ourselves to accept good things. As we practice this, we can learn to embrace the goodness of life without subconsciously pushing it away.
It’s Okay to Celebrate
Living with alcoholism and addiction can be an incredibly harsh and draining thing to survive. But once we are in recovery at Jaywalker Lodge, we meet people just like us who absolutely insist on enjoying life. No matter what pain is in our past, it’s okay for us to be happy, joyous, useful, and free.
We deserve to live a happy and meaningful life, just like anybody else. Maybe we don’t feel comfortable celebrating or embracing the joy of life right away, but we can certainly practice.
It’s okay to celebrate when something good happens to us or someone we love. It’s okay to laugh and share good news and smile. In fact, experiencing these things is one of many reasons why we are in recovery. Don’t let a poor self-opinion keep you from living the life you were meant to live. Embrace the process of recovery and let us at Jaywalker Lodge embrace you. As we walk the sober road of happy destiny, we can all get better at embracing the goodness of life.
Many alcoholics and addicts suffer from depression and other co-occurring mental and emotional issues. At Jaywalker Lodge, we hold ourselves to the highest standard for care for men who are struggling with addiction, depression, or maintaining long-term sobriety. We believe that effective treatment is not a consequence of addiction, but a promise of our future together in recovery. To learn more, call us today at (866) 529-9255.