Self-care: the bedrock of recovery
My daily self-care as a drinking alcoholic looked like this:
1. Gulp litres of water in the morning (I was dehydrated from a hangover) and gobble some painkillers for the killer headache I had.
2. Forced vigorous exercise to counteract the guilt, remorse and shame from drinking too much, once again.
3. Giving in to the craving for fatty and salty hangover food to calm my stomach.
4. Swearing I wasn't going to drink again, ever. Or eat junk food again, really.
4. A nap, which was really collapsing in a heap because I was exhausted and sick and too hungover to function.
5. Having a wine, cos the anxiety was so bad that I needed something to settle my nerves, and I deserved a pick-me-up after the miserable day I'd had.
6. Drinking until I passed out.
Next day: repeat.
My daily self-care as a recovering alcoholic looks like this:
1. Wake up sober. Feel AMAZING without an hangover. Express gratitude and do my morning recovery ritual of reading and meditation.
2. Exercise gently in nature because I feel energised and want to move (not because I'm wracked with guilt).
3. Eat lots of healthy food and some treat foods because I love eating and I love feeling healthy.
4. A nap because I need time out from a busy day doing positive things and I need to re-charge my batteries. It feels good to retreat, be quiet and honour my need to rest.
5. Do something creative because it makes me happy.
6. Inject some fun into my day, which could be catching up with a friend, eating out, listening to music, playing with my dog or spending time with my family. Sometimes I will socialise around drinkers but always keep sobriety as my top priority.
7. The end of day is about more rest and relaxation, including a delicious meal, watching tele and reading, catching up with friends on the phone and reflecting on another sober day.
8. More gratitude and recovery practices and then sober sleep – the best self-care of all.
Next day: repeat.