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Keeper of the Month – March

Lifering’s e-mail groups are active, thriving communities of people who use them as strong sources of sobriety support, and many members often post remarkably written sources of inspiration, hope and encouragement that many other group members call “Keepers” – posts that they save for themselves so they can go back and look at them as often as they like.

We here at LifeRing like sharing these posts, with the authors’ permission, on our Blog so that everyone can enjoy them as much as our group members do.

 

Keep Calm

 

In keeping with our recent “Essential Recovery Toolkit”, here is an example of what one delightful member of LifeRing’s list community, Angela Nolan, shared about emphasizing relaxation as part of her toolkit:

I am reading a book called (warning, cliche’ ahead!) “I Want to Change My Life:  How to Overcome Anxiety, Depression, and Addiction” by Stephen M. Melemis, Ph.D., M.D.  The first part of the book is all about learning to relax and using the breath and the body to relax the mind.  I have been doing some of the exercises daily and one of them is our own dear Jane’s deep belly breathing.  🙂  Should’ve known.

Anyway, below is a quote from the book and I am finding it very helpful.  I’ve been through a lot, especially in the past few years, and my drinking didn’t help, but only extremely aggravated all of it.  I realize that one of my big problems/triggers is letting stress get to me and I have been through the most serious stress since the surgery.

I’ve been sober again two weeks (and finished the klonopin taper 3 days ago) and by practicing relaxation, I think I’ve made it a lot easier on myself.  Not only that, but I think if I keep these good practices going, they could lead me into the sobriety that is going to sustain me for the rest of my life.

Quote from the book:  

“When you are tense, you blur the line between what happens around you and what you feel inside. When you’re tense, it feels as if things are happening to you instead of happening around you. Therefore you try to control them. It feels like people are going out of their way to irritate. But when you’re relaxed, you see things as simply happening, which makes it easier to let them go. Learning to relax doesn’t make you passive. It is efficient . Mind-body relaxation doesn’t involve letting go of what’s important. You learn how to let go of what’s holding you back.”

Here’s to all of us letting go of what’s holding us back.

~~

 

 

Kiss My Arse, I’m Irish

~~As posted on our Facebook page today~~

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, and a special “Hello” to our friends in Ireland!

In America, this is a wonderful day to celebrate all things Irish as well as our strong Irish heritages – did you know there are more people of Irish descent in the U.S. than there are in Ireland?

But it’s also accepted as a “drinking holiday” in which many, many imbibe with gusto…which can make it a rather difficult day for those of who don’t do that kind of thing anymore.

And you know what? That’s alright – better than alright, in fact! So, if you so choose, find fun AND healthy ways of the wearin’ o’ the green, and try to think of it this way:

 

But That's None of My Business

 

Take Good Care,

🙂 Bobbi C.

 

 

 

 

Keeper of the Month – February

Lifering’s e-mail groups are active, thriving communities of people who use them as strong sources of sobriety support, and many members often post remarkably written sources of inspiration, hope and encouragement that many other group members call “Keepers” – posts that they save for themselves so they can go back and look at them as often as they like.

We here at LifeRing like sharing these posts, with the authors’ permission, on our Blog so that everyone can enjoy them as much as our group members do.

Nelson Mandela Quote

 

This month’s post is contributed by Mary C., who recently posted about her 2 year sobriety anniversary, how she’s gotten there (aka her “PRP”, or Personal Recovery Plan/Program), and all of the benefits she’s received by living a clean and sober life:

I am so pleased to be able to say I have two years sober as of today. I am doing a quiet little happy dance here on my iPad keyboard.

I’ve been trying for decades, literally, to shake this drinking obsession. And with support from a good addictions counselor and the wisdom of this group and F2F LR meetings, I finally, finally feel free of it. After two years I still do the various elements of my Personal Recovery Plan, but maybe not quite so intensely these days — my F2F LifeRing meetings are down to once a week, online reading and posting most days but not always, weekly visits to addictions counselor are now down to as-needed “tune-ups”.

I’m feeling physically and emotionally better than I have in years. The biggest danger now is getting complacent and slacking off on my program. For example, when I miss a week or two of F2F meetings, I can see a big red flag signaling caution, pay attention!

I know it can be so daunting and scary to quit. But keep trying, trying, trying. I’m sure I was lurking and occasionally posting on LR forums and email lists for at least two years, then I found my counselor and then started about six months of hard-work-therapy before pulling the trigger on my Quit Date of Feb 4.

Just for the record, let me briefly list the changes in my life that have come with sobriety in these last two years:

* My thoughts are now turned outward toward an interesting life instead of inward with guilt and secrecy and self hatred.
* Crazy good health improvements. Lost 52 lbs. (Weight Watchers). Normalized my high blood pressure. Reduced all those lab test markers for cholesterol, liver, blood sugar, etc.

* Sleep gets its own category because it’s so wonderful to have it back!  I still have to take the occasional Benadryl or melatonin, but those 3 am wide eyed hangover wake ups are gone for good. 

* This is a weird one:  I can enjoy music again. For years I wasn’t able to listen to much music because it provoked such an emotional response in me. Now that my emotions are better balanced, I have pulled out my old vinyl, bought a new turntable, transferred old iPod music to iPhone & am good to go!

* Like a lot of people in sobriety, I’ve found exercise. I now try to walk with my little dog Rosie every day in order to keep my mind happy and to sleep well.  (Plus Rosie likes it)

* Travel is something I can do again. I don’t have to stay home any more and nurse my addiction. Went to Santa Fe/Taos last fall and am heading to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, this spring.

* Best for last, my dearest relationships with family and most friends are happier, more relaxed and somehow closer. Sadly, not all relationships fared so well, but I can’t really regret that.

 

Thanks for letting me share my milestone with you. I’ll still be here reading, even tho I’m not a very frequent poster. I can hardly go a day without looking in on LifeRing!

 ~~

New LifeRing Meeting to Start in Berkeley, CA

A new LifeRing meeting is coming to Berkeley, CA, the city next door to the LifeRing headquarters in Oakland. The meeting will be on Thursdays starting Feb. 12th at the Alta Bates Herrick Hospital on Dwight Ave. near Shattuck St. Meeting time is 7:30 pm. New LifeRing convenor Larry L. reports that “it is in the CC Conference room on Level A at Herrick. Take the “B” elevator to Level A.”

The Herrick facility has long hosted LifeRing meetings and has been the site of several Annual Meetings for the organization. LifeRing meetings are held there also on Mondays at 8 pm.

 

Headspace Update Numero Uno

Those of you who read the blog regularly (and even those of you who don’t) may remember that I posted an item about Headspace a while back, and since I’ve found already that it’s made a difference for me I thought I’d follow up to tell you how my first 10 days of meditation went (cuz, uh, you’re really very curious…right?!), and also to invite any of you who may have tried it yourselves, or would like to try a meditation practice of your choosing, to join me on this new journey.

With that:

  • My first impressions were of how uncomfortable I was physically throughout the first several sessions – fidgeting, shifting positions in the chair I was sitting in, continuously getting various itches I just had to scratch.
  • Sometimes the discomfort had to do with my overall being on certain days, a general ooginess that made it a little harder to focus. Skeptical as I was, I decided to believe it when Andy, my smooth and soothing guide, told me that that was OK.
  • As time went on, I found it much easier to participate without all the ooginess, and more importantly, I found toward the end of the 10 days that I’d gained some clarity on a particular issue I’d been feeling so guilty and regretful over for, oh, about the past year and a half – all the stuff of my Mimsy’s that I didn’t keep I wish I had. “Much as you might have liked to, you can’t take it all with you – which is why you decided not to to begin with! – and neither could she,” I heard the better part of myself tell me, and for the first time felt some peace with it.

Now, I’m not sure if that’s all due to the meditation or not…but I still felt compelled to move forward with it anyway, and went ahead and subscribed to a year’s worth of Headspace. It’ll cost me $7.99 a month, less the sign up bonus of the first two months free, making the grand total $79.90. A year’s worth of potential mental health and well-being for less than 100 bucks a year?

Sold!

~~~