View all:  Voices of Recovery

September 8

“We have seen it happen time and time again that people relapse when these simple needs of living are not considered.”

Tools of Recovery, page 24

I was convinced I had to be superhuman to feel adequate. I would work past the point of exhaustion, often triggering feelings of entitlement followed by acting out. I didn’t exercise, my sleep suffered, I beat myself up for any mistake, and my anxiety was high.

I had heard for years that exercise would lift my spirits. How ridiculous, I thought; that would just make me tired. But on my doctor’s advice, I started a regular exercise regimen. Guess what? I started feeling less depressed, even happy at times.

So it went with many things I now routinely do as self-care. I start my day praying, meditating, and reading spiritual literature. I stop work-like activities at a reasonable hour so I can unwind, meditate, pray, and read spiritual literature before going to bed, also at a reasonable hour. Aware of my disease’s tendency to beat me up, I make a conscious effort to be gentle with myself. I call people on a daily basis to break the isolation and check in with my program friends. It adds up to more self-love. I feel better and I am a better person.

I’ve heard that I should love my neighbor as myself. Before I made self-care a priority, I would have felt sorry for my neighbor if I had!

Self-care is an act of love. I feel better and I am a better person for it.