Thursday, September 27, 2018

Links, Books, Quotes, and AADP

Even in the harshest of conditions...
In March, I began feeling stronger about working on my healing and recovery.

The team, knowing my thirst for knowledge, talked about Co-Dependency, Boundaries, using Affirmations (I begin my day writing a positive affirmation about myself),  and Grounding, among other topics. As I searched for their recommendations, I began to delve deep into the shelves at the library, soaking in the many words and comfort I found in the plethora of books I found there.

There were many, of course, but the ones that really stand out as being an immense help were: 
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. I LOVED and was totally inspired by Mackenzie Phillips 2nd book, Hopeful Healing, and then read her 1st, High on Arrival. Rewired by Eerica Spiegelman stirred me so much, that for the first time EVER, I veritably got serious about what I was taking in, and genuinely did the work, dug into the questions I needed to ask myself, and proudly had some small epiphanies. As with Rewired, Recover by Stanton Peele, PhD, put me to work. It was fucking hard!! Yet, I persisted, and began to make some progress in understanding myself.

I began taking notes in CAB, learning about REBT (Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy), and working through the ABC and CBA worksheets they had available from the SMART Recovery program. We spoke a lot about IB’s (Irrational Beliefs), Dealing with Urges and Cravings, and Early Recovery among MANY topics each week.

I began to hear phrases, words, and quotes that stuck with me, and I repeatedly wrote them out in the notebook I carried to group: “It takes 21 Days to create a new habit”, “healing at a cellular level”, “feelings aren’t facts”, “If life doesn’t go right, go left”, and Mama Facilitator’s favorite, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”, which was her segue to pull out the Safety Cards. At first, I carelessly wrote them out, and carried them close as suggested. It took some time before I truly found the value in them, and I continue to use the many I have now created. I highly recommend creating your own!

I began dipping my toes into the actual SMART  Recovery meeting with my new friend Teeny in April. Though I knew no one else, I felt instantly at ease and comfortable when I walked in for the first time. The group topic often, coincidentally, aligned with what we had worked on in CAB, which I found incredibly helpful. I was able to really cement the ideas inside myself, making it easier to re-wire some parts of my brain and create new thought patterns and beliefs!

I was starting to get so excited about getting healthy and changing my life!

I was doing a lot of intense, hard-work, as I continued to drink. Until, I made a CHOICE not to. I had finally attended the Orientation for AADP, placed myself on the wait-list, and got ready to WAIT. And WAIT.

As I mentioned in my last post, “The feedback I received around me was, of course, over the moon positive and proud. I, however, was doing some tricky thinking in the background. One of the requirements of attending AADP is to be clean during the 8 weeks of the program. That little voice inside taunted me, telling me that no one would ever know what I did upon leaving group each day. With a laugh, I, finally, caught and corrected that thought. I would know. The joke, and the consequences, would only be on me. I announced that I would be easing off until I got the call, and then I would quit."

“Whatever games are played with us, we must play no games with ourselves, but deal in our privacy with the last honesty and truth.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thankully, my drive to get healthy was activated BEFORE I got that call, and so I had become intentional in my daily activities, preparing myself for what lay ahead. I quit drinking.
I  worked hard with my books, engaged in learning and healing, identified and enforced boundaries (for the first time EVER), and whatever else I thought might be helpful!

I was at 18 days without a drink when I finally did get the call that I would be starting AADP, and I was STOKED!! I was becoming more clear and positive in my thinking, and was trying quite hard to quit the "stinking thinking" voice that was attempting to intimidate me.

Finally I made it!! My first day, I was early (as usual), and my apprehension instantly eased when I discovered a familiar face who I'd met in CAB a while back. That first day was everything I'd hoped for and more. The immediate connection I felt to the 3 others who began that day (another beautiful friendly face from CAB), the seniors that were so accepting and helpful, and the 3 kick-ass facilitators blew me away. 

I knew that I was finally where I needed to be, and I was raring to get started!

(I wanted to share what's been working for me, and so I gave you some of my favorite info! I hope you find it helpful/useful. I hope that you feel inspired while you forge your own path, remembering that you are never alone)
(And don't worry, I'll have a ton more links to share with you as I go along!! The interesting stuff, the surprising, the helpful and useful, the funny...)

See you soon!! ;)

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