Each and everyday I live my life in active recovery, I feel like I am a brand new man. I am able to live with freedom in having a heart that beats true to myself and others. Being able to love myself again during the last 46 months of my recovery has opened doors in my soul that have never been open before.
I continue to live with bipolar, ADHD and anxiety, but in a different way. As I released ‘Slick’ (Active Addiction) and allowed ‘Recovery’ into my life, I live through Recovery and by having ‘Recovery’ live through me. This is part of acceptance and changing perceptions of how you approach addiction, adversity, and/or mental illness.
As I do not refer to religion very often in my posts, but I want to reference something I learned at a Men’s Christian Revival Camp called Tres Dias as an example. I learned at Tres Dias that instead of Christ living through a person, that person should live life through Christ. I am not requesting that you use the religious part of this approach if you don’t feel comfortable with it, but I have been able to use this approach to successfully approach my recovery. Even though I include this religious approach in my personal recovery, you do not have to include the religious piece to be successful. You can take the approach, as I mentioned above, and live through your recovery and by not having recovery living through you. I relate living through recovery as identifying and following the actions and thoughts of a peaceful method of thinking / recovery. This can be done by reading inspirational thoughts / meditations to spark your mind. I read ‘Daily Meditations’, ‘Daily Inspirations’ and ‘Thoughts of the Day’ by Hazelden Betty Ford Treatment Center Publications and this allows me to sincerely reflect on my actions and thoughts. Reading these publications also allows me to plan for my actions and thoughts each day with a clear and peaceful mind and gives me a guiding light to follow. A person must do what fits to their personal needs in living through active recovery, but there is no need to reinvent the wheel.
It’s important to seek out things and actions that have been successful for years and methods that are still being taught / implemented in recovery centers and psychiatrist offices around the world. For instance, even though I am not diagnosed with OCD, my psychiatrist recommended that I purchase and complete a workbook on how to effectively cope and use strategies to change my way of thinking about certain things that would constantly repeat in my mind, leading to repeated thoughts and some of my daily actions. I continue to have ritualistic behaviors such as, picking the third undershirt from the top of my pile, putting on my right sock first, pushing my lock button three times on my truck so I can hear it beep three times and I still do all of those things, but I catch myself thinking about it less. By purchasing this OCD workbook and working through it, my thoughts have changed and if I am in a situation that I forget to do those things or can’t, I know that my day isn’t going to be ruined. I have several more ritualistic behaviors that have become part of my daily routine, but they are not effecting my life like they used to. I am now more patient when I am in crowded places or when I am not parked in a parking spot where I can be the first or second car to get out of the lot at a sporting event or concert. By following my psychiatrists recommendations, I find myself having less anxiety, which in-turn has created a sense of freedom in my mind. I am diagnosed with ADHD along with my bipolar, but in my opinion, most of mental illness diagnosis’s fall under the same umbrella and similar strategies can be used across most diagnosis’s.
Bottom line is that it’s critical to live through a positive perception of how you can continue to improve your thoughts and actions and this happens by taking action. Feed your mind, heart and soul with inspirational readings or other mental / physical activities each day and make them become actions in your daily routine. It’s important to also reflect on these actions and see what is or isn’t working, while you should always be looking how you can improve the quality of your life.
As I have said before and I am going to say it again, “If Nothing Changes, Nothing Changes”.
What are you going to do today to improve your perception, thoughts and / or actions today?
Each day is a new beginning and the beautiful concept behind that is, today you get to choose whether you have an optimistic / realistic outlook on your life or a pessimistic outlook that will keep you taking steps back in life. No matter what you are going through, if your sitting in a prison, recently lost a loved one, recently lost your job, etc, you still have the ability to take a positive, optimistic and realistic approach to your life.