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Friday, May 6, 2011

How Do I Live?

How do I live the right way? Indeed what is the right way? Those were and still are very relevant questions when you are changing the way you live your life. In my case I was essentially starting from scratch, building "me' from the ground up. I suppose in my particular case being beaten to a complete pulp by my alcoholism/addiction did me a favor because I didn't have any argument left. My life was a dismal failure. The "old way" of doing these lead to horrific consequences ultimately taking me to the brink of self-destruction when I tried to commit suicide.

Those two questions I posed at the beginning of this post: How do I live the right way and what is the right way are indeed complex and important questions. It quite honestly could take a book to fully hash out all the possible answers etc. What I am really looking for here today though is the basic answer to the question of how do I get started on that path of living the right way.

It obviously is important to define the right way for me. And over the 4 plus years that I have been in recovery that "right way" has continually changed. Starting from the basic "just do not drink, no matter what" to where I am today, really focusing on following in the footsteps of Jesus...where "He" is the right way. And everywhere in between.

In my experience I didn't have a chance to live anyway at all if I didn't sober up and find a way to stay that way. So that was the first priority and challenge. Then I had to deal with the wreckage from the past and being honest and open really were essential aspects to being able to do this. And I did not go it alone. I knew from the start that I needed help so I sought out people who had been where I was and were living healthy, happy satisfying lives now. 

After finding a life in recovery, living one day at a time, focusing on taking my experience, strength and hope to help others I started to become much more open to spiritual principles. But again, I was initially very hesitant to go there...I didn't trust those type of things because in my mind I always blend spiritual with religious. I've discovered today they are not the same thing.

The timeline I just loosely covered has taken 4 years of practicing sobriety, being honest and working toward the goal, each and every day that i was going to improve the person i was. It did not come easily or quickly but it did happen.

But to try and keep this as simple and basic as possible, I think each and every person has to define what kind of person they want to be. And pattern a lifestyle in practice from there. For me sobriety was the first priority and as I learned how to stay sober other priorities for doing that arouse and they were incorporated into my life and it's been a continuing process ever since. I found it very important to keep my life simple and the changes became natural as I practised then incorporated them into my life.

To do checking my behaviors, intentions and attitudes is a daily part of living and that is the best way for me to see if I am indeed living the life I want to live. For people who are struggling with addiction/alcoholism there are treatment centers where a person can get help transitioning from drinking/using drugs to getting sober. The there are programs to help one find a way to start living a life in recovery. Programs like Celebrating Recovery, the Christian Based Recovery Program i mentioned yesterday to Alcoholics Anonymous, an organization that has been helping people find sobriety since the mid 1930's. And there are many others. I think the most important thing, if you are suffering in the throes of addiction is seek help, before it is too late. Health care professionals, family...many people can help you find a place to start your journey to a new life.

And if your struggles are not addiction, there are also many programs and forms of treatment for Sexual Abuse in all it's various forms, Co-Dependency, Over-eating, Suicide and other emotional and Psychological issues. Health Care Pro's can help in this area as well. The worst thing a person can do is...NOTHING. Failing to act will only allow whatever is troubling you to get worse. Take my word for it. 

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