C: Develop your coping skills.
- Learn to identify your emotions: anger, fear, guilt, sadness – go to some mutual support group meetings and work with a counselor on this important part of your recovery.
- Learn about boundaries: what are your responsibilities, possessions, traits, and what are others’; how to establish and maintain boundaries. Reading, groups, sponsorship in Alcoholics Anonymous will help with this. With this goes MYOB: learning to mind your own business and to detach with love.
- Learn how to be assertive in relationships and how to safely resolve conflict. Books and courses are offered on this. It also helps in your work and parenting.
- Determine what pieces of your puzzle are missing and develop them: money management, time management, stress management, learning balance, hobbies.
A: Make yourself accountable. Share your commitment to change with someone who cares for you. Join a group, get a sponsor/mentor.
R: Take responsibility for your own recovery. Being a victim may feel like it absolves you from blame, but it gives all the power to the victimizer. It’s up to you to change the things you can. You can do it.
E: Education helps. Reading books, attending classes, going to group meetings all help towards reaching an understanding of addictions and dysfunctional family systems, and recovering from symptoms of codependence.
S: Develop a support network. Join a group (Al-Anon, religious institution, hobby group). Identify support people, friends, family, institution of worship, or workplace and get in the habit of sharing with them, in person and by phone.
S: Your spiritual health will likely get more and more important to you as you get older. Figure out what you believe. Decide on your values and live by them. Start your day with meditation.
Don’t quit before the miracle.
Ray Baker, MD,
in association with the MediResource Clinical Team