Physical & Mental Health in Sobriety or “You’re not the boss of me!”

Someone said that the opposite of addiction is community, and I can see how that is true, to a certain degree. But I believe there’s more to it than just not isolating and finding your tribe. Heck, gangbangers have community, and they’re probably not anti-addiction.
I think and feel that the opposite of addiction is compassion, creativity, growth…whatever is the opposite to destruction.

“It’s a Selfish Program”

When I initially began to learn this New Way of Living, they told me it’s a selfish program. That was kind of confusing!
It did begin to make sense, after a while: I can’t do anything for anyone else unless I first take care of myself. I must maintain some kind of mental and physical health before I can be equipped to care for anyone or anything else.
Eating healthy(-er) food, seeing a Dr. on a regular basis (including Dentists), wearing clothes appropriate to the environment, and getting at least 6-8 hours of sleep a night are the basics. Remember “H.A.L.T.”? Never get too Hungry, AngryLonely, or Tired. Three out of the four are things that are completely possible for me to do, even if nobody else is around, and eventually, I discovered that even Lonely was actually an inside job.

I’m thinking of folks in my life who, for whatever reasons, don’t tend to do well with taking their medication as directed. If they’re anything like me, there is a possibility that their reasoning goes something like this:

“Why should I take this? It’s not gonna get me high.”

Or, “I d on’t feel any different whether I take them or not…” With many medications, the effects may not be noticeable for several days or weeks, so it can seem like a good idea to not take them. Don’t let the Itty Bitty Sh*tty Committee between your ears talk you into doing something (else) that you’ll regret.

I know what’s best for me

Famous last words, right? For whatever reasons, during my time in recovery, I’ve tried to wean myself off of certain medications MANY times, only to get about a week or two into the process and discover that my life got super uncomfortable pretty quickly  when I tried to play Dr. God. My closest companions at the time, once I got down to, say, half of the doseage I was suppposed to be taking, would implore me to start taking them again. I didn’t argue much because I was feeling anxious and hopeless and lethargic, etc., etc., etc. I dream of the day when I can (with a Dr.’s help) actually be med-free, but I know that I owe it to my kids and my husband to keep taking them. For now.

Because I love you

I’ve been around depressed people with children and seen how not involved in their lives the parent is, and how irritable, and chaotic and…I want better than that for my boys. God knows they’ve been given a tough enough road to hoe without my self-will adding more to an already less-than-perfect situation. So, I can tell you without any hesitation that one of the ways that I demonstrate my love for my family is by taking care of myself. I don’t want to go to the shink, but I do, for them. I don’t want to  have to depend on the Pharmacist and insurance and…but I do, for them. I REALLY don’t like being dependent on medication for my mental health, as well as my physical health. Seriously, what alie/druggie welcomes someone telling them what to do? I want to go to each of these wonderul Professionals and tell them that they’re NOT THE BOSS OF ME! Except, I guess for now, they kind of are, to a degree. Sigh.

In summary

So, in order to have sustained recovery, I encourage you to make those Dr.s appointments and KEEP THEM, and figure out how to get your meds and TAKE THEM. You don’t gotta like it, ya just gotta do it. You will be glad you did. And so will your friends and family.

Posted from my cabin in the woods.

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