Whether or not we are suffering from alcoholism or addiction, we all lose our rhythm from time to time. It happens to everybody. Things are going smoothly, and then we hit a bump in the road. Sometimes it’s nothing, just a hiccup, but sometimes the bump is big enough to knock us off the proverbial horse and disrupt our whole deal. It’s a normal part of life that happens every once in a while. In recovery, we have much at our disposal that can not only help us learn from these disruptions but can help us get right back on course, as well. Let’s look at how to get back into the swing of things when we’ve lost our rhythm.
A Hiccup or a Serious Problem?
First things first, here: we need to be able to differentiate between a bump in the road and a serious issue. Hitting a pothole is one thing, but having four blown tires is a totally different problem. We need to honestly and accurately assess the situation we find ourselves in to be able to determine the proper course of action. Inventory of this type is best done with our sponsor, our higher power, and our recovery community.
Normal life disruptions just happen sometimes. Fortunately, they usually don’t last all that long; we just feel out of step or off the ball for a couple of days. Big issues or serious problems usually last a while longer and come with fairly harsh side effects. If we have been in a slump for a long time, things seem to be getting worse, or our feeling down is starting to affect our ability to live our lives, we may be dealing with more than emotional hiccups and bumps. Mental and emotional health issues like depression are serious business. If we think we may have depression or another mental or emotional health issue, we would be best served by seeking out professional help. In this case, we will want to see a psychiatrist, psychologist, and/or a therapist and follow their professional advice.
If we determine that we’ve just hit a little slump, we can follow the rest of the helpful tips in this article.
Take a Breather
This may seem like counterintuitive advice, but look closer. Slowing down when things have come to a screeching halt isn’t counterproductive at all; it’s necessary. So often when we hit a bump in the road or fall off the horse, we start scrambling one way or another. Either we try to get right back on track as fast as we can or go running in the other direction without ever taking a moment to consider what has really happened. Taking a moment to pause after we stumble can be a crucial step in moving forward in the right way, as well as with the right mindset and proper information.
If you’ve hit a bump in the road and lost your rhythm, take a minute to catch your breath. Practice the eleventh step of recovery, breathe, pray, and meditate. Even a small pause may yield helpful insights which can prevent us from getting thrown off course again.
Remember Your Priorities
Often when we hit a bump in the road, we get romanced by the chaos and give up our peace of mind to try to fix the situation as quickly and hectic as possible. Now that we’ve avoided that mess by pausing to breathe, we can spend some time remembering our priorities and getting them back in line.
As individuals struggling with alcoholism and addiction, our recovery must come first. If we don’t put our recovery first, it’s very likely we won’t be able to handle anything else on the list. So we keep our priorities in line and in order. No matter what is going on in our lives, good times or bad, steady rolling or bumpy roads, we must stay true to our needs and the actions that make us most helpful to others. No matter what is going on, we must remain actively engaged with a 12-Step program in all aspects. That means we continue meeting with our sponsor and completing 12-Step work. We keep our regular meeting schedule, and whenever possible, we do our best to be of service to others. Remaining steadfast with these three actions can help us keep the rest of our priorities in their proper order.
Of course, if we also have mental and emotional health issues which require care, we must not skip that, either. We should continue to follow the advice of our healthcare professionals when it comes to our mental and emotional health.
This may not seem like the most exciting answer when we’re struggling, but it’s still solid advice. When we fall off the horse, of course, the goal is to get back on that proverbial horse. We don’t want to rush it, though, or we may risk falling again in the exact same way. That’s why we pause, check our priorities, and then take baby steps. This doesn’t mean we’re babies, it simply means we move with a proper amount of caution and purpose. This is the best way to avoid repeating our mistakes if there were any. It also gives us the time to get our legs steady underneath us again, so to speak. It may not be our literal legs that need steadying, but we will want to be mentally, emotionally, and spiritually steady as we do our best to get back on that metaphorical horse.
Jaywalker Lodge believes that recovery is possible for anyone and everyone — no matter how many times you have stumbled and fallen in the past. No matter what your story has been up until this point, recovery is still possible. There is never a good reason to give up hope. At Jaywalker Lodge, we are living proof of that. We struggled to maintain recovery for a long time, too. Finally, we were given the proper education surrounding a 12-Step program as well as the opportunity to find recovery again, and it has worked for us. We can now show you the same things that worked so well for us, and they just may make the same difference for you. Recovery is certainly a journey, but so long as we are breathing, the journey is not yet over and the story can change. If you are suffering from alcoholism or addiction and struggling to achieve or maintain recovery, Jaywalker Lodge can help you. Call us today at (866) 529-9255.
As Chief Executive Officer Bill provides leadership and manage all day-to-day operations of Jaywalker Lodge, an extended care residential addiction treatment program for adult men.