Having battled with my own demons over the years I have come to realize that the process of recovery is all-encompassing…..I must recover in all areas of my life. True healing is about mind, body, and Soul.
My first introduction to recovery brought me in contact with ´the promises of AA.’ I needed to be enticed into wanting to recover and these were the promises I was given.
If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are halfway through.
We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
We will comprehend the word serenity, and we will know peace..
No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.
That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.
Self-seeking will slip away.
Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.
Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.
We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
The ‘Big Book’ of AA goes on to tell me that these are not extravagant promises and that these promises will always materialize if I work for them. My subsequent experiences have proved this to be true.
In particular, I often think of the fourth promise. I always knew what the word serenity meant intellectually but had never ‘experienced it.’
Through my healing process, I began to experience it physically, emotionally and spiritually. In order to maintain this, I need to be looking after my Mind, Body, and Soul.
I have learned that there are many ways to maintain these spheres of my life, some of which I have used and many of which I have yet to explore.
5 ways to look after your Mind
I found that my mind had been warped over the years in order to protect my addiction. I needed to recalibrate my mind and I found many therapeutic processes to assist in this such as CBT, Individual therapy and an honest attitude.
Recovery has afforded me the opportunity to look at who I am and what I am and to be accountable and accepting of all that I find.
I have found this a great tool in quietening my busy mind. It can restore the rationale and right size my thinking.
Working the 12 Steps
Has been at the core of my recovery. I simply plan to increase awareness and accountability whilst asking me to acknowledge that I needed help.
My mind had been dormant through long periods of my life. Finding new challenges or education (through books and activities or more formally) has always helped my mind to calm itself.
5 ways to look after your Body
I have found exercise to have been invaluable in my recovery both on a physical level ( I feel much better) but also mentally. Exercise is universally accepted to be a natural antidote for depression.
A balanced and healthy diet has always paid dividends for me. There is often conflicting advice out there…I have found a plan that works for me and have stuck to it.
Doctors and dentists were never my friends in the bad old days. I was either ‘invincible’ or not worth ‘caring’ about. Now I have realized neither is true and have to reach out for help sometimes.
I often overlooked rest in my pursuit of a quick fix. My addictive nature meant that I would train despite being injured or neglect my sleep. I have learned that balance is vital to my physical health.
We can often be influenced by external perceptions and norms. You can’t read anything or watch the TV without being ‘educated’ into what a perfect body should be. We are all assembled differently and finding acceptance in that can be far more empowering than a constant thirst to change what we look like.
5 ways to look after your Soul
I have always found meditation as a way to calm my fears. Fears are what took me away from myself. The ability to ‘listen’ through meditation I have found invaluable.
Pursue your passions
In following your passions you feed your soul. Just as the body needs nutrition so the soul needs passion.
Back to fears again….I have always found the perfect antidote to fear has been faith….either through some form of spirituality or religion.
I have found this to be rejuvenating and invigorating on a daily basis and paramount in looking after my soul. I have found that being loving, kind and supportive of others has brought its own rewards.
I had always resisted looking at or even acknowledging my emotions. They were too uncomfortable for me. I have found in not being scared off them any longer I feed my soul.
That feeling of Serenity has become one of the most valuable gifts in my life. I have learned it needs to be maintained on a daily basis.
It is great to be working in an environment such as Camino Recovery where this philosophy is at the heart of the program offered. Mind, body and Soul is what we are here to help revive.
About the Author
I was brought up on the outskirts of London and struggled with my own personal addictions over twenty years before finding recovery in South Africa where I spent 10 years before returning to the Uk in 2014. Family bereavement led to a reassessment of my life and a career change. I relocated to Spain two years ago where I have been working at www.caminorecovery.com. at Camino, we are concerned with Addiction, trauma, and anxiety.