Tag Archives: Self-direction

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!

 ~~

A View on LifeRing’s “Structure”

structure2LifeRing member Byron Kerr shares some thoughts on LifeRing’s approach to providing structure in recovery:

I recently heard a proposal in a LifeRing forum that, “some people just need the structure of 12-Step.” This reflects an assumption that LifeRing is somehow unstructured. While it is true that we do not offer a single “official” structure as to how an individual must achieve sobriety, the LifeRing approach is not unstructured. It is personally structured.

A user/drinker will not succeed in LifeRing without crafting their own structure. We call it your “Personal Recovery Plan.” Your PRP is your best hope for success. Your PRP should be detailed, specific, and well thought out. All persons that succeed in recovery use structure. We simply propose that when you compose your own structure, you will be automatically more invested in your own recovery. If you only read a script and put none of your own effort into your structure, the odds of your success may be diminished.

Can people in recovery benefit from suggestions and guidance? Certainly. We provide those things as a fundamental part of all of our support efforts. We offer ideas from personal experience but stop short of specific, “you should………” type advice.

LifeRing can work for anyone. The notion that there are some people who can only benefit from the “structure” of other support programs is not considering the fact that LifeRing is very much a structured approach. It only works with structure. That’s what we mean by “self-empowerment.”

— Byron Kerr

Nothing Like a Little Good Publicty …

tabernashDick Sprague, a LifeRing Convenor in Tabernash (Grand County), CO, provided information for an article in SkyHiNews “serving Winter Park, Granby, and Grand County, CO.” The article can be read in full by clicking Here.

Sprague is mentioned in the article and provided most or all of the information for it. Here’s a sample: “LifeRing seeks to build off other’s experiences to help people create a tailored recovery program, or as Dick Sprague, the man who has been convening the meetings locally and is an advocate for the group, puts it: “It gives you arrows to put in your quiver.”

Sprague went on to say, “All personalities have differences, and different things work for different people …”

The Tabernash meeting is weekly on Thursdays at 7 p.m. at The Church of the Eternal Hills. More details are available at the LifeRing Colorado website.

Sprague can be contacted at dick.sprague@comcast.net

New LifeRing Meeting in Salt Lake City

A new LifeRing meeting gets underway on Saturday, Sept. 28, in Salt Lake City, Utah. It will be the fourth meeting started by Mahala Kephart in that city. One is on hiatus, but the others are both on Wednesdays. The new meeting will be at 11:00 a.m., at the Utah Pride Center,.255 East 400 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84111. Note that free parking is available in a lot behind the building; for parking and building entrance, enter on ramp from 300 East.  Enter from the back of the building (2nd floor); the first floor space is still under renovation.