Recovery is a daunting process and often can be very discouraging, it doesn't matter what a poor soul is recovering from -- alcohol, drugs, food, depression, cancer -- it's a hell of a hard process attempting to achieve normality.
After all, that is what we want, isn't it? A feeling of peace, serenity, comfort, and a level of success in various facets of our lives? It's less a question of "is it" and more a question of "how." At least, for me it has been.
It's important to begin the day with something successful; first thing in the morning start the day with a win. Do something, anything, that I know I can get right, straight from the get go. It doesn't have to be a big thing. It can be relatively small and seemingly insignificant, but when I do this thing, and it is an accomplishment -- I feel good.
The reality is that our inner brain, the "survival stuff," doesn't care what it is, as long as it just is. Successful. By being successful, we fulfill the sense of accomplishment that humans need and crave, no matter how big or small. How can we do that?
For me, it was as simple as this (now, don't laugh -- this is truly what I do, and it works for me):
I make my bed every single morning.
I make a point to do it.
I have challenged myself and insist that this is done.
Now, let me explain something here -- making a bed seems rather pointless to me. It doesn't make sense, I'm only going to mess it up again anyway, and it just doesn't click with me on a level of true usefulness.
... it is an accomplishment. I never made my bed when I was drunk off of my ass -- I didn't care enough to. Straightening out my covers takes me out of that place, and puts me here, now, in my recovery, where I choose to live. Sobriety is important to me nowadays. I've met some of the most wonderful people in my life, became friends with many of them, and now I work an opportunity that not many people get a chance to work at.
I've become "successful," depending on one's definition of success. To me, it's sober, in recovery, and doing things I enjoy doing -- hanging with friends and family, working on blogs and photos and podcasts and videos. None of this was possible while I was active in my alcoholism (or depression, or food binge, etc.).
Okay, agreed, making a bed didn't get me this success -- working at it and working the 12-steps was a huge and important process for me -- but it made me start my day feeling like I'd accomplished something, as small a feat as it may have been. And when I feel accomplished, even on a small scale, I feel better about myself, and start my day in a much better mood, which translates into a better morning, happier afternoon, and grateful day.
I didn't have time to write last night (nor this morning), and I don't have time to edit this blog right now, as I'm going to be late for work if I don't get out the door, but after I finished making my bed, it dawned on me that today, I make my bed. It's a small success, sure. But it is a success, and I wanted to share my silly little tip with all my readers.
A Beginner's Tip to a Successful Recovery:
Tip #1: Make your bed, every morning. Just do it.
Or find something you know you can accomplish first thing AM.