B+. That’s my score for today. A hearty thank you to those of you who were so quick to jump on board here and sign up for email. On my very first post no less. Cool! I hope to keep you interested! 🙂
So, a little about me and why I’m doing this. Up until last May, I was a late-stage, chronic alcoholic. I left my last treatment center this past July after a five-week stay and decided to make a heartfelt attempt to stay sober this time (because that’s the real challenge). I was unclear about my future and which direction to take – because none of them looked remotely interesting – until I had an epiphany.
I decided to get a job at a treatment center. The only kind of experience I had that qualified me for a job in a treatment setting was my experience as a patient in them. And I knew myself well enough to know that I wouldn’t drink while working with people like me. So I lied about my sobriety date during my interview and got hired to work with the floor staff team in a residential treatment center. (Most treatment centers have a rule that they won’t hire people with a past substance use disorder until they’ve got 2 years clean & sober – terrible rule. I’ll write on this in another post.)
I stayed for three months. At some point during that experience, I got the idea to become a life coach/recovery coach. And so, immediately after this past Christmas, I packed my things into storage, threw my luggage in the trunk, put my dog in the back seat, and headed south on highway 101. When the itch to explore overwhelmed me after about seven hours, I stopped in a little coastal town in Oregon. I’m still here 3 1/2 months later and nearly finished with the first half of a life coach program.
My first year of sobriety is coming to an end at the same time my coaching program is changing the focus from the client to me – the coach. We’re learning to coach “from the inside out” and the timing of this is just eerily perfect. I’ve learned how to discover the things I need in my life – things like peace/quiet, work, clarity/accuracy, freedom, and order. I’ve learned how to discover my core values – like sobriety (this seems like a no-brainer, but it wasn’t a value a year ago), meditation/stillness, physical fitness, healthy relationships, research/learning, and teaching.
I didn’t know any of this stuff about myself this time last week! I mean, I had a general idea about a couple of these things, but I couldn’t have named them like I just did. And now that I’ve found these things – everything has opened up because my perspective has just changed.
And I’m amazed! I had no idea that a change in perspective could be so – fulfilling.
This explains why I’ve been feeling irritable, restless and discontent over the last couple of months. Those words are used in that order by folks in AA to define a sober person as a dry drunk – someone sober who isn’t working a recovery program. Well, I don’t subscribe to AA (been there done that) anymore because it’s a one-size-fits-all program. I believe there’s more to sobriety, recovery, and life than giving it all over to AA. And I just found the answer for me by designing a way to incorporate my core values into my life on a daily basis.
Whowouldathunk? I didn’t see this coming.
What AAers don’t know is that the person they’re calling a dry drunk is really someone who isn’t living their life according to their personal core values. This means that anyone – in recovery or not – addicted or not – who feels those feelings is probably out of alignment with their personal core values (personal being the key word). It’s pretty hard to live by core values when one doesn’t even know what they are!
Once I discovered my needs and core values – all the things that I’ve been saying I want to do but wasn’t doing – became easy to do. How is this possible? I DON’T KNOW. It Just Is. But I’m not used to any of this and I have the sinking feeling it could all just evaporate at any time, so this blog is going to help me process my experiences, thoughts, attitudes and – whatnot. Like I said in my first post, I’m using this to keep me accountable. I refuse to give up on myself.
It’s been a good day. A B+ sort of day. I got up, had my coffee, meditated, walked my dog, exercised, studied, ate healthy food, went to class, and now I’m here. Tomorrow the schedule will be different because I have to work.
Here’s what I believe – everyone has the power to transform their life if they’ll just listen
to – and follow the call of – their heart.
On a side note, I’m reading The Girl With All The Gifts. Anyone reading this? I just found out that it’s in the theater. The book is okay – not the best idea to read it before bed though.
High-Five everyone! Until tomorrow.