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Holiday Survival Guide: Recovery In The Now

William Welch, KCPM, CPS

I’m going to ask for a little audience participation, so bear with me for a few. Just a few questions. Easy, right?

Do you remember a time when you had to respond to every single little thing that happened in your life?
Like the future of Planet Earth and its peoples depended on how freaked out and controlling you could get in 2.2 seconds?

Yeah, me neither.

Do you remember a time when you were exhausted from having to keep track of everyone else’s lives and the only thing that numbed the exhaustion was something outside of yourself? For me, that was any number of things, from alcohol to prescription pills to crappy relationships.

It has always been easier for me to keep track of the lives of other people than to take a good long, engaged look at my own. Remember having to keep track of every look, every word, every place, all the time, on top of having to control every outlook to the best of your ability? Then being mad and sad and disappointed, only to repeat the process all over again?

Being in charge of the Universe is grueling work. Self-sabotage is even more so.

At this point, I am going to ask you to take a very deep breath. Hold it in, close your eyes. Now breathe out—let all of that residue flow out, the negativity and the uncertainty of being present in this moment.

Now, again. Breathe deeply in. And…. Feel the beat of your heart. You might even feel the blood pumping through yourself at this point. Envision a brightness and an innocence and then let it go.

Welcome to your life, they say.

Let go and let God, they say.

Trust the Process, they say.

I wish I had a more solid definition of any of those silly slogans my recovery family has passed on to me over the years, but here’s what I do know today:

I am higher powered—some days more than others—but certainly every single day.
The Universe has my best interests in mind, and that when I put my mind to it, I have attracted a tribe to myself that cares about me almost as much as God does.
I can meditate on peace and wellness and love and compassion, and do my best to align my thoughts and actions with those principles, especially during this holiday season when emotions run high and life becomes particularly stressful.

One day at a time. The world ebbs and flows. You don’t have to be somebody else depending on the day, or the time of year, or because of who you happen to be spending your time with right now. You don’t need to respond to every little thing happening around you.

You can be at peace being precisely who you are today. Protect that precious stillness inside you.

Love, always.

Bill