All those feelings of inadequacy, not fitting in, or not being good enough for anyone were a skewed perception I had of myself. Once my therapist and I cracked that open, I was able to start working the steps with my sponsor.
Step One is broken down into two parts: I had to look at it and tell myself that these conceptions are true and I had to believe it whole heartedly with every fiber of my being. The other 11 steps can be done and redone to figure out the kinks, and you can still stay sober. For me, I had to learn the hard way, but fortunately I was able to get another chance and found a great sponsor who was able to explain things to me. A woman in my home group said something that always sticks with me: Lexie is an Aftercare Coordinator for Lakeview Health.
As someone in long-term sobriety herself, she enjoys helping others begin their journey into recovery. Moving from venue to venue developed into moving to different cities and eventually to different countries. And that ultimately led to me quitting the job so I could start this process over again somewhere else.
These are just two examples and certainly not an exhaustive list of the mind games I would employ to justify my continued using. However, not having them in early recovery is like playing with fire. Why is it so dangerous though? Having unhealthy boundaries in recovery can mean that we allow ourselves to people please, to be taken advantage of and manipulated by our so-called friends. This can and usually does lead us into many difficult or dangerous situations.
How many times have we sat around after an incident and said to ourselves: I knew it was a bad idea. As an addict, I was always left with a soul mangling sense of self-disgust and shame. Punishing myself disproportionately to the rest of the world and being completely convinced it was deserved. The counsellors in rehab explained that setting and enforcing boundaries was a way of protecting ourselves from certain high-risk places and situations. As well as a way to increase our self-esteem and self-worth. By putting our own needs first, we would be giving ourselves the message that we have worth and deserve to be well.
These were boundaries which made sense and I believed would be easy to implement and stick to and in large part, they have been. I seldom set foot in a bar these days — except for the odd gathering of family or friends. If I do, I make sure that there is a justifiable reason to be there and check that my motivation, to attend such a meet up, is good.
That sickly sweet smell of stale alcohol which I used to love now produces a gag reflex. As for my dealer, last I heard he was doing 6 years for possession with intent to supply.
I want to start this post by assuring you that the resurgence of this blog is not the result of some half-arsed New Year's resolution that will inevitably get. For me, I had to learn the hard way, but fortunately I was able to get another chance and found a great sponsor who was able to explain things.
The boundaries which I have found to be the most challenging, difficult to implement and then stick to have been around people — mainly family members. During my time in rehab, I explored my family dynamics, my role and those of my parents and siblings. When I left treatment, I had resolved not to see her for at least 12 months.
This I thought would give me time to establish my own recovery. We did speak on the phone, which allowed us to be in contact. Whenever things took a sideways turn though, e. Over time we re-established face to face contact. There were family birthdays and other occasions. Although at times this could be difficult, I always knew that if I felt under threat emotionally, then I would leave, which I did on several occasions.
Never making these into big things, just quietly slipping out. My other siblings were aware of these strategies and in fact started to adopt them for themselves over time. I love my mother very much and know that she is in a great deal of emotional pain. I also know that I cannot help her if she herself neither wants nor believes she needs that help.
Sure there are still occasions, Christmas day is a favourite when one too many drinks have been sunk and the tone of voice changes almost imperceptibly. That — for me — is the cue to make my excuses and leave. Implementing a boundary with your mother may seem like a difficult thing to do, and in many ways it was. I had feelings of guilt and questioned whether I should have been doing this.
But slowly things started to go downhill towards the end of the season. I thought the typical couple weeks off training would re-energize me and I would be able to get into the winter training, building on the success I saw throughout the season.
Somewhat ironically, back when I posted about my training week while working full-time , I was warned by a fellow pro triathlete older, wiser, and much more experienced than myself that what I was doing was not going to be sustainable. I honestly thought that regimen would last longer than a year, but alas, it has been a rough winter repairing the damage that months of significant under-recovery has brought about. Right from day one of winter training in November things went badly. A 30 minute easy spin on the bike left my legs shaking.
I somehow chalked this up to not being fit after a few weeks off, and convinced myself that things would turn around once my body got used to training again. I got sick for a couple weeks in December. Then got the flu-like virus for over 4 weeks in January. Then got the stomach flu. What I found to be the most frustrating part of this is that I had no definitive reason for being unable to train.