Thursday, August 11, 2011


Another week has flown by and now we will be discussing social balance as a part of self-care in recovery.  Remember the old John Doone poem:  "No man is an island"?  The song adapted from the poem states:  "No man is an island; no man stands alone.  Each man is my brother; each man is my friend."  Humans are social beings.  We need social support. However, if my social support has been my using friends, it is important to find people that are supportive of my recovery efforts.  Letting go of using friends often is a concern for most people in recovery, however, it is often a safety issue early in recovery. 

Most often when we talk social support, people talk about family support and families can be a great support and help.  However, there are other support systems.  Twelve Step groups offer great support and also anonymity or the idea that I can go to a meeting, share, and feel safe.  As well as meetings, there are sponsored activities in which to participate, ie., dances, camping.  A sponsor is there to help me understand and work through the 12 Steps.  Some people find support through their church and some churches offer 12 Step meetings and workbooks to use to work through the 12 Steps.   There are several Christian workbooks and even a Native American workbook.  Let me know of others that you have used or like?  There are many paths to support.  I talked to a friend in SLC who went to a weekend retreat for women through a Christian group and had an amazing experience and recognized her sober women friends are a strong social support.  She talked about taking a Tai Chi class and how much she loved it.  I can meet other like minded people when I try a class and I am willing to learn.  TurningLeaf Wellness Center has offered yoga and Zumba classes.  How about Tai Chi?? 

People in my work environment can also be a support.  Another man I know in recovery likes to hire other people in recovery and make the workplace a part of their support system.  Are you having fun?  A big part of social balance is to enjoy life and have fun.  When is the last time you blew bubbles or bounced a pebble across the water.  Going to Zions Park is a close, fun retreat for all of us in the St. George area.  What is your favorite way to have fun and nurture the child within? 

I am going to share a story from Carol Lynn Pearson from her book "Embracing Coincidences" entitled STOP and START.   "So tired.  I had lain awake most of the night staring at the ceiling, racked with concern.  This morning I made myself walk to the park.  Coming back, despite the warm sun and the cheery bird calls, I found myself spiraling down, down....allowing the worst possible scenario to play out in my mind.  "Stop!"  The voice was loud and sure.  It was my own voice.....I took a few deep breaths and opened my eyes.  The first thing that appeared in my vision was a word, a work in large, white block letters only ten feet away from me on the asphalt path:  STOP.  The path was about to meet the street.  But I had been about to meet the abyss (mentally).  A warning sign.  Hours later, I was leaving my granddaughter's elementary school, where I had been with both the kindergarten and first grade classes, doing "creative drama" with Aesop's fables.  Still tired, I was hurrying to my car, cutting across the schoolyard.  There, under my feet, what was I standing on?  A word.  A word in large, white block letters on the asphalt playground:  START.  Start?  Playing? Learning?  Becoming a child?  Trusting?  An invitation." 

And so, my invitation to you this week is to play and have fun sober.  I would love to hear what you find to do and with whom??

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