I’ve fallen into many nutrition rabbit holes over the last decade, seduced by promises regarding certain foods and manners of (not) eating. When I think about the precious bandwidth spent on these trends, I’m exasperated. A disordered relationship with food began before I ever picked up a drink or drug, but I didn’t get sober to transfer that addictive and compulsive energy back towards food. When I think of all the other things I could have focused on, it’s upsetting but every compulsion, addiction, and obsession serves a purpose and, for me, is rooted in early childhood trauma. Being in recovery from multiple substances and behaviors reminds me this journey is not linear and that it’s never too late to reclaim my energy around food so I can be truly present in my life.
Far from a nihilistic cry, my suggestion to embrace nothingness–specifically of being and of activity level–is borne out of frustration from trying too hard for too long, both before and in recovery. I needed to be someone and to prove some things. Sitting with my own insignificance is both terrifying and freeing, joyous and upsetting. The global pandemic in conjunction with increased attention to systemic racial violence towards Black Americans has further propelled me to take a seat. The former is an unprecedented experience for those alive today and the latter is what we have, unfortunately, come to know too often. This climate vaguely reminds me of moving through the sludgy trenches of active addiction and moving into the scary new terrain of sobriety, which brings its own drawers of highs, lows, […]
In many ways, the COVID-19 pandemic requires those of us in recovery from substance use disorder to stay especially vigilant about our boundaries around our sobriety as well as our changing relationships to ourselves, others, and our physical surroundings. A call to strengthen recovery boundaries may sound like a paradox in a time where restrictions are aplenty, but restrictions denote a sense of deprivation whereas holding and maintaining boundaries — another important addition for your sober toolbox in a pandemic — can usher in a sense of space, abundance, and spiritual growth towards your recovery.
Definition of a Boundary
Boundaries aren’t walls. They are non-negotiable feelings, thoughts, needs and preferences that are unique to you explaining what you will or will not do, accept, or tolerate. Boundaries demonstrate where we end and someone else […]
Working a program of recovery during this COVID-19 pandemic may be tricky but it is important however you choose to go about it. This is an opportune moment to double down on existing and new recovery tools, a time to recalibrate and focus on what you have been meaning to dive into. If, like me, you were privy to FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) before the pandemic struck, you may feel those anxieties soften upon self-quarantining. With less options for outdoor activity and social gatherings, I’ve experienced more space and time around recovery work I have been putting off, like reading program literature and completing stepwork. There is no singular way to navigate a pandemic and no fixed set of tools, but read on for some practical ones that will guide you towards a sane and […]
In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, traveling in sobriety may be the last thing to cross your mind as we’re being encouraged to engage in social distancing and refrain from leaving home. However, the various states of quarantine will be over at some point this spring, and travel opportunities and adventures will await you more than ever in your recovery. You might even be making up for lost time by plotting out travel itineraries that may not have come to you had you not been at home in the throes of cabin fever. Whether you plan on traversing cities, countries, or continents, similar challenges of traveling as a sober person may arise for you. But just as there are challenges, there are joys and blessings of sober travel that far surpass the ephemeral pleasures that substances can provide […]
You’ve broken up with alcohol and drugs, but have you grieved their absence (and the lifestyle those substances encouraged) in your life? They served a purpose but maybe you started to experience a kind of betrayal trauma when they started to turn on you, and you became willing to let them go. Whether you’re completely breaking up with substances, a person, a situation, or just in need of a little break from them, I highly advocate for giving yourself permission to take space. In the everyday sense of the phrase, “taking a break” is crucial in order to avoid burnout while bulldozing through daily activities. With its many connotations, the act of stepping away is ultimately a productive and important action to take that will enrich and brighten your recovery to a state where busyness and […]