WHAT NOW...WHAT COMES AFTER RECOVERY?
For those of
us who not only have been able to make it through a traumatic life event, but have
actually been able to grow from the
experience, we often think...What Now?
As I think
back to several of those experiences, I know that family and friends were an
important part of my recovering. But the
issue that had the most dramatic effect on me was the change in relationship
with the God of my understanding. As far
as getting me through some of those days where I didn't want to show up and
participate, I asked for the help I needed to just to get through the day. I
felt that tomorrow would be another day and I'd deal with it then.
Once I was
able to get past the "poor, poor me" stage (which was a very important stage to
go through), I was able to begin cultivating a different relationship with God.
I didn't know it at the time, but I had
passed through the emotional healing piece and was entering the spiritual
I liked this
part...the spiritual healing piece. I
could feel a huge difference in my attitude and how I carried myself though the
day if I prayed in the morning (which was basically talking to God). I would
acknowledge my love for Him, ask Him to help me with my thoughts and actions
and to help me be of assistance to others. In the evening, I would get on my
knees (something I began while in rehab) and thank Him for helping me get
through another day and I would acknowledge those who were less fortunate than
me and ask God to help them, too.
That's all I
did for a while and I really felt a difference. As I've heard it said, those things helped put
more "gratitude in my attitude" as I went about my day.
As time went
on, I noticed the need to commit more to my "practices," i.e., those things I
was doing that helped me to be balanced as I went through my day. Commitment didn't necessarily mean more.
For example, I
was reminded of a period during my early sobriety when I was only able to see
my children on Sundays between 10am and 8pm. I felt cheated and angry that my time with
them was so limited. But my sponsor reminded me that the amount of time I had with them wasn't as important as the quality of time we spent together.
As with many
things in life, if you do them every day they sometimes take on less meaning in
our life. We are on autopilot; doing
them out of habit, without the same feelings and intensity we felt when we
Yes, even prayer
can become automatic, if I allow myself to become unfocused while doing it. So, at first, commitment meant not rushing
through my prayers so that I could move on to do the next thing. Prayer...talking to God...was not an item on my
"to do" list. It became a significant piece of my life, and I needed to
recommit and be present while being in the presence of God.
month of October in the Ah-Man Blog, I
will talk about improving our conscious contact with God/Divine
As always, I invite
(and encourage) you to join me there to share your own experiences.