Most of us understand in glaring clarity that getting in better shape requires work and dedication. Getting in better shape after years of drinking and using is absolutely no different. While the analogy is not perfect, it’s definitely relatable.
You can join a gym, hire a trainer, buy work-out clothes, know the class schedule, even show up at the gym, but if you don’t go inside and exercise, there will be zero results. Same with recovery. You have to do the work outlined in a medical, clinical and spiritual plan of action or your results will long-term be nil. This is especially true for 12-Step meetings. Attendance does not equal abstinence. Working toward a spiritual solution does.
The person in the before/after photos on display at the gym started somewhere. You may not be a “spiritual warrior” at the start, but you will always see progress if you work at it. it doesn’t matter where you start, but it does matter when.
Starting a fitness regimen requires commitment. Becoming recovered requires that you dedicate yourself to regular involvement with a sponsor, doing 12-Step work, helping others, with assisting newcomers, and yes, attending meetings. This also means learning to consistently “suit up and show up” for the other commitments that may be a part of your life such as family, work, school, or therapy.
It’s a Marathon
The idea of both fitness and recovery are to integrate them into your life, not take over your life. No one gets clean or sober to spend every waking moment in a meeting. Imagine adopting a change in lifestyle that is so positive it can be maintained for a lifetime.
Starting May Suck
The first time you run a mile, your legs may be sore the next day. You stick with it anyway. As you run more there’s less soreness and it gets easier. In recovery, the same is true. Being honest with a mentor or speaking in front of a large group of people may be daunting at first, but everyone agrees, it does get easier. Start somewhere. But start.
Results Always Follow
Rarely do people walk into a gym filled with glee, but most who’re leaving the gym are grateful they came and worked out. Because they feel and see the results. Recovery is no different. You reap what you put into it.
Statistics Are Scary
Of people who go to the gym and truly stick with it, how many get physically stronger and overall healthier? 100%. Same with recovery. Be weary of statistics because they’re often inaccurate, unscientifically gathered and pertain to a large population, not an individual. They’re an average, a median. Statistics will discourage you. Do what’s asked, be a part of the 100%.
The Brain is a Muscle
That’s not an official declaration, but you the more you do something, the more familiar and friendly it becomes. Exercise your spiritual being to make it stronger.
Don’t Exercise Alone
Regular fitness folks find great reward in knowing people who run the same jogging path or ride the same bike route. Making friends on your recovery journey provides camaraderie, an opportunity to learn from peers, a sense of unity and support when times are tough. Many lived lives of quiet isolation in their addiction; this is a great chance to break that.