If you are ready to cry your eyes out because Jan 1 was going to be the end of your drinking and the beginning of your new body, please read on! The good news is your body will be healing over time on levels you cannot begin to understand and in ways you never even thought of (adrenals, hormones, cortisol, serotonin, dopamine, etc.). The bad news is just like every other part of an addict’s world; it won’t ever seem soon enough for you. What I do know in dealing with addiction is that my body, mind, and spirit had a whole lot of healing to do, and still does. When I was finally so determined to get sober, everything else had to come last even if it meant a pint of cookie dough ice cream was a necessity instead of drinking.
I am in my third year of recovery now and have finally been able to see with acute awareness how sugar and simple carbs make me feel horrible, not just immediately after consumption, but even for days after. I am also leveling out as far as truly understanding what type of workouts my body needs. I was a college athlete who just assumed I needed to continue pounding my body. What I have come to understand is that when I work out that hard I eat double the food to make up for it. After years of brutal self-talk and the “no pain no gain” approach, I am learning that my body thanks me when I use the softer approach of yoga, running, some weights, and lighter foods. When I take the time to meditate in the morning or even to sit and feel what my body needs, I am better able to address it accordingly. None of this was possible with alcohol in my life and not really even in super early recovery.
For me, dealing with addiction and every other aspect of my life now is about doing the inside job first, and having the patience for the outside stuff to follow. The goal is to have a loving and healthy dialogue with my body instead of just pounding it into the pavement to look good. Something else that has helped in my understanding of addiction, is that typically when my addict mind thinks I am taking a shortcut, it ends up that path is actually the long and painful one. Choosing the slow and steady way to heal my body is finally paying off.
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