Let’s get back to basics!
2018 for me is going to be about getting back to the basics, and I’d love to share that with you. We’ve made so many things way more complicated than they really have to be. If you’ve seen any elementary math lately, you know what I mean! There’s more fluff and red tape than necessary and it’s time to strip things back down to allow ease and flow. Today’s post is about getting back to those basics in regards to recovery.
Use these three things as a starting point, a daily (and perhaps hourly or by the minute) reminder that it doesn’t have to be hard. We just tend to make it that way. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not minimizing the impact addiction has on any of us. Lord knows it’s a complicated beast. However, these three tips will keep you from getting overwhelmed, get you unstuck, and flip that script of negativity that doesn’t seem to want to let go.
A – Attitude
Gratitude is something that can be hard to come by when your husband is actively using, or not working a program. (Or just being an asshole). When you find yourself getting all worked up, take a second to take an inventory of your attitude. If you start the day thinking it’s going to be a shitty day – well, the universe will allow that to happen. You’ll stub your toe, spill your coffee, run late, have a flat tire, and any other number of things that can turn a day south.
When you start your day (or during any point when you’re starting to feel stress, anger, irritation, or anything else that starts feeling yucky) try to think of a few things you’re grateful for. It could be when you’re sitting in traffic and you’re grateful you have a job to go to. Or your kid got bullied in school and you’re grateful your child came to you as a safe haven to deal with it. Perhaps your husband is on a binge and you can only be grateful you’re not in jail for domestic violence. It’s all ok. Whatever you can find to be grateful for is enough. You are enough.
*Tip – Use this sheet to make a list of 26 things you’re grateful for using the alphabet!
B – Breath
There’s a lot of research about the breath and it’s effect on the brain and your mental state. In fact, Dr. Perls (founder of Gestalt therapy) said “fear is excitement without the breath”. If you start to feel scared (which is perfectly natural to feel, especially if you’re in the thick of one of his rages, or you’re being questioned about something, or your trying to figure out how to get food for dinner) – take a second and take a few deep breaths. The fear will subside.
I’ve learned a few techniques for the breath that I’ve found particularly helpful on nights I have trouble falling asleep, or if I need to regroup or refocus. Breath in slowly to the count of 4, hold for 2 counts, breathe out slowly for 4, and then hold for 2. If you focus on filling your belly with air (not your chest or shoulders), and focus on the in and out, the coolness of the air in your nose, the number of the count… It takes your mind off of the fear. You can clear your head for a moment and make room for a solution. If you’re using it to fall asleep, you’ll probably just drift off mid-count versus the negative thoughts throwing a frat party in your mind.
C – Care
We’re dang good at taking care of everyone else, aren’t we? We make sure everyone is doing what they should be doing (even grown ass people who should be responsible for themselves) and when and how they should be doing it. We will drop everything to rescue someone in need. Do you treat yourself with the same priority?
Caring for ourselves feels foreign at first. You’ve probably been conditioned that it’s better to give than receive, or women are the caretakers, or that it’s selfish to do things for your own enjoyment. I know it’s not an easy concept to grasp but you are worth taking care of too! Focusing on others is a huge red flag that you’re ignoring yourself. What about you? What about your needs? Who drops everything for you? If you don’t, then there’s the problem.
All three of these basics are like a muscle that needs to be exercised and grows stronger over time. They probably are not natural habits (yet!). It takes practice and intentional change to weave these into your daily routine. Give it a try (like a legit try – not just a ‘I’ll do it when I think of it!”) and let me know how it works out for you in the comments!
Know someone who needs to hear about these basics? Be sure to share this post with them!