The time I set aside in the morning to pray and meditate sets the tone for my entire day. While at Discovery Place, I met Dave Smith, founder of Against the Stream in Nashville, TN. He volunteered at the facility and taught me how to constructively tackle high anxiety in early sobriety.
I started to make 15-30min+ of mindfulness meditation a daily practice. It enabled me to not only approach situations more comfortably; it also opened up a connection to the world I’d lost during years of active addiction.
In the chapter on step 11, The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous states that, “…meditation is in reality intensely practical. One of its first fruits is emotional balance.” (pg. 101-102) But you don’t have to wait until step 11 to start meditating.
The sense of smooth I felt when first introduced to meditation was so foreign, I thought something might be wrong with me. In stressful circumstances and situations apt to make me angry, I stopped responding with a crazy range of whacky emotions. I’d never experienced authentic internal peace. Meditation was the key that unlocked the door to emotionally healthy me.
- Get involved socially with sober people. I guarantee that you’ll have fun.
A common misconception amongst the newly sober is that nothing will be fun in the absence of booze and drugs. A lot of us feel like a comedian told to go on stage and make people laugh without telling any jokes.
It was incredible when members of sober fellowships first asked me to go out for a night on the town. Prior to getting clean, no one asked me for anything except party favors. We played trampoline dodgeball, watched 3D movies at the IMAX theater, walked through haunted houses on Halloween and just had a blast. All I had to do was hang around the rooms of recovery and demonstrate that I wanted to be a part of something d
So raise your hand and identify yourself as a newcomer. Let the community know you need to learn to have fun sober. Then one day, when you watch as someone beaten by substances walks into the rooms, you can have the privilege of paying it forward.