A patchwork of recovery resources – what does your list look like?

I decided to recover out loud yesterday on my 16-month milestone. I told my story of how far down gray area drinking took me me before I got off that shitty hamster wheel. Within hours, so many friends, acquaintances and family shared their own sober stories openly in the FB comments. Others were brave and honest and shared that they’re questioning their own relationship with alcohol. I was floored by their vulnerability and felt hope that their collective voices may help shed the shame many feel when they realize they need to ditch alcohol for good.  

That said, I honor and respect anyone’s reason to keep their story private. Anonymity can be one of the most essential ingredients to making sober living stick. Privately, a few people asked about 12-step programs, such as AA. I will share that I’ve gone to several AA meetings, and while it didn’t end up being my route to recovery, these groups can be powerful and life-saving. Sadly, Hollywood portrays AA and other recovery scenarios as a group of sad people huddled in a dark church basement drinking stale coffee and eating day old donuts. I’m here to tell you…that’s somewhat true. I’ve been to three different churches and the coffee sucks. But the people are far from sad. They are real, vulnerable, thoughtful, empowered, and genuine. My opinion is that AA provides the core values that make any recovery program successful: Connection, Validation, Accountability, and Service.

Just bring your own coffee.

Many others asked about alternative groups and resources I attend or use, so I thought I’d park them here for reference. The recovery community has exploded in the last few years. Exploded! And the medical research around how alcohol negatively impacts your physical and mental health is more and more conclusive. There are so many ways to connect and learn now (and once you know something, you can’t unknow it).

Big Alcohol is here to stay. There’s no questioning that. But perhaps, in the not-so-distant future, Big Alcohol’s advertising will be relegated to the kids’ table. Right next to Big Tobacco. The voices in recovery are getting loud; and it’s a revolution anyone could be part of.

Sober Instagram Community

  • Sober Mom Squad
  • Ultimate Mom Challenge
  • Recovery is the New Black
  • Not so secretly sober

…and so many others (all one has to do is search “Recovery” and profiles will pop up)

Facebook private groups

  • Sober Mom Squad
  • We Are the Luckiest
  • SheRecovers
  • Recovery Elevator
  • Sobriety Sisterhood

…and many others (a quick search is all one needs to do)

“Quit Lit” Books

  • This Naked Mind (explains the science of the brain behind addiction. This really helps one understand WHY they drink (again!!) at 5PM when they promised themselves at 3AM they wouldn’t).
  • We Are the Luckiest
  • The Sober Diaries
  • Quit Like a Woman
  • Alcohol Explained
  • The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober
  • Sober Curious

…and soooo many more. Search “quit it” in the Google Machine

Podcasts

For me, these acted like a meeting when the world shut down. Grab your phone, go to a beautiful spot in nature, and listen to these stories while you walk for an hour, two hours, all day. The walk+podcast was a saving grace.

  • The Bubble Hour
  • Recover Happy Hour
  • Sober Powered
  • Home
  • Seltzer Squad
  • The Naked Mind
  • Recovery Elevator
  • Edit
  • Mother Recovering

….and (you guessed it) so many more….

Mediation

  • The Insight Timer app is Great for this one. It allows for short 5 minute attempts for anyone who is convinced they have no time for mediation (this is me raising my hand.)
  • Calm and Headspace are other good apps

Journaling

Even just three minutes a day. Writing five things you’re grateful for can help set the day. The science behind how journaling helps is amazing. It connects your left and right brain. So one side has all these thoughts cascading through your mind. Writing them down starts to organize them and help you free associate to the point where you feel better simply writing.

Nature

Get outside. Go for a walk or run. Bundle up in cold weather. Be in nature. It’s not about “sweating” or” burning calories”. It’s about what the outside air can truly do for your wellbeing. (I rolled my eyes incessantly at this suggestion…until it worked.)  

Support groups

AA has an app called “Meeting Guide”. The icon is a folding chair. It will give you a list of meetings near any location you designate.

My group is Women for Sobriety (WFS) and its New Life Program.  Many struggle with the language in AA, and I get that. WFS has 13 statements, and when broken down, they are similar to AA’s 12 steps. But many women in the New Life program believe these statements bring more positivity and empowerment to their recovery. https://womenforsobriety.org/new-life-program/#

So many of you who reached out yesterday are taking such a huge step. Simply evaluating alcohol’s place in your life is more than many do. I love and see you.

Yours, Mumma

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