So this is a request by Jimsdad and it’s a lovely tune so thanks Jim 🙂 If there is a tune that you’d like me to play just stick it in the comments and I’ll cue it up!
It’s been a bumpy couple of weeks. Now I remember why I last moved almost 7 years ago! Fortunately we had good weather but the stress did induce regression in me and prompted some fairly South Park like behaviour (Cartman anyone?!) The stress of packing up the old house, move day, then unpacking at the new house stretched itself over almost a month and that level of chronic stress can really be our undoing – particularly if we are in early sobriety. God only knows how I would have coped if I didn’t have almost 2 years under my belt? In fact it’s a month today to my 2 year soberversary!
So the move is done, the unpacking is almost complete and my routine is returning to normal. Last Friday I started to meditate again as a matter of urgency. As Prim said to me recently it’s important for our emotional fitness in the same way that running is important to my physical fitness. The minute I indulged in some me time to run and meditate, calm in my brain and body began to return. That night no pub either – a glass of AF red, a chocolate bar and a gentle film on Netflix and I could feel the anxiety of it all start to drain away.
So this track continues that soothing theme 🙂
I have to say that this has been the biggest test of my emotional sobriety to date and I feel like I made it by the skin of my teeth. As far as sober firsts go, this is monumental and I wouldn’t recommend moving house in the early stages of sobriety to anyone by choice! But maybe like most other sober firsts, now that I’ve done it once, I’ll be better prepared for next time and will make sure to build in some ‘me’ time as part of the process – though I bloody hope moving again is a good few years away yet! 😉
So it’s one month to go to my 2 year sober birthday. Whodathunkit? 😉
And after listening to Mary O’Malley talk to Tommy Rosen during Recovery 2.0 at Prim’s recommendation I’ve this to add to her words of wisdom.
Mary talks a lot about how our poisons can turn into our medicines and that the waves of compulsions we feel mean we have something to learn. As she says:
Compulsions aren’t an indication that something is wrong;
they are doorways into the joy of being fully alive in each moment.
By learning to respond rather than react,
we can gather the gifts that they hold.
So much of what she says makes so much sense to me. She talks about the stories and spells of childhood that lead to our control issues and struggle as adults. How learning to numb saved our childhood. And that this desire to control and our struggle is made of fear glued together with shame and judgement. It’s that old chestnut about what you resist persists.
So in an effort to turn my current poison into medicine I’m going to detail a chocolate meditation 😉 This is taken from Psychology Today but there are lots of others available online.
The chocolate meditation
Choose some chocolate – either a type that you’ve never tried before or one that you have not eaten recently. It might be dark and flavoursome, organic or fair-trade or, perhaps, cheap and trashy. The important thing is to choose a type you wouldn’t normally eat or that you consume only rarely. Here goes:
• Open the packet. Inhale the aroma. Let it sweep over you.
• Break off a piece and look at it. Really let your eyes drink in what it looks like, examining every nook and cranny.
• Pop it in your mouth. See if it’s possible to hold it on your tongue and let it melt, noticing any tendency to suck at it. Chocolate has over 300 different flavours. See if you can sense some of them.
• If you notice your mind wandering while you do this, simply notice where it went, then gently escort it back to the present moment.
• After the chocolate has completely melted, swallow it very slowly and deliberately. Let it trickle down your throat.
• Repeat this with one other piece.
Mindfulness meditation is often seen as an austere practice (possibly because of all those monks getting up at 4 am and meditating before breakfast). While simplicity has its place, it also pays to remember that Mindfulness is first and foremost about compassion towards yourself and to others. Enforced austerity should play no part in the practice at all.
And that to me encapsulates Mary’s wisdom. This process isn’t about enforced austerity it’s about learning what we do and why we do it and to have compassionate curiousity towards ourselves. Mary says in shame there is no healing and by using compassion we can unhook ourselves from the core struggles that keep us stuck in our compulsions. I’m all for that – with a bit of chocolate thrown in for good measure 😉