Back in the day, I was up to my ears in drama and spent most of my time chasing down the high I relied so heavily upon to bring me relief. Always wanting to be somewhere other than in the present moment.
If for only an hour or two or three. I clung to that trap door with all my might. It tried my disappearing act for a long time but soon enough it lost it’s punch. I found myself spending most of my days on a roller coaster ride of feeling crappy, then fuzzy, then crappy again. Only the second phase of crappy that came the morning after had a lethal mix of crippling guilt thrown in to add to the insanity. My life felt stalled and I was stuck in this spin cycle for years.
One of the first things that hit me when I got sober was the shocking realization that I’d lost my place to hide. I could no longer use the bottom of a bottle as my private little corner away from it all. That false sense of comfort was gone and I was left feeling raw, edgy and ready to jump out of my own skin.
It took some time, but as the days and months passed, the discomfort dissipated and slowly but surely, so did my need to disappear. I began to feel better physically and the fog miraculously lifted. I no longer had the insatiable urge to reach for the escape hatch. Time took on more importance. Truth became non-negotiable. Curiosity crept back into my life, along with a genuine interest in trying new things.
Then I found yoga, and my world got even brighter. I discovered community. I started to feel at home in my body and in touch with my breath for the very first time. This was an entirely new concept for me. I learned techniques to achieve a state of calm that I wish I’d had access to years ago.
I’ve recently added meditation and a bit of chanting (what?) to the mix and I have to say, quieting my mind early in the morning has become my secret ingredient to a more relaxed and balanced day.
So, if you’re not already practicing, I highly recommend you give it a whirl. Finding quiet on the mat is a gift to give yourself. Try it out for a class or two and see if you feel a difference.
After all, the beauty that comes with recovery is our willingness to open up, explore the unknown and welcome new beginnings.
Who knows, you just might get hooked.