Article by Justin Brewer
Edit and Post Design by Christy Zigweid
Photo made using @WordSwagApp
Photo by Orzalaga via Pixabay CC
I am a 42-year-old recovering alcohol and drug addict who has also been diagnosed with bipolar II. This past summer I was in a treatment facility where the focus was on dual diagnosis and the simultaneous treatment of substance abuse and mental disorders. I had the pleasure of sitting through a group administered by one of the counselors who wrote and spoke about twelve points, sharing his experiences as he talked about each one. I have written about what each statement means to me below and encourage you, as you read, to think about what each may mean to you. What you are willing to do to include these positives in your life?
I found this one to be really tricky at first. On a daily basis, I take the time to say "I love you" to myself whether it be in the mirror or on the way to work. I always remind myself that I am loved. To prove this, I fill my day with things that reaffirm my love for myself: reading, meditating, praying in the morning, working out after work, helping someone else by phone, text, or in person, or going to some type of gratitude meeting at night. I always thank God at the end of each day for all things.
I must stay conscious of my thoughts, especially if they go into anger or resentment. I am quick to acknowledge rational or irrational thinking and even quicker to let it go. If I do hold a resentment, I often pray for those whom I am resentful for and it eventually brings peace.
This one has taken a lot of practice too. Be grateful for the good and bad and always say thank you. I make a list of all the perceived good and bad at the end of the day, focusing especially on the perceived bad, for how am I to grow if I don’t face challenges and accept with gratitude always?
Visualize. It often takes practice to meditate and visualize. I have to train my subconscious to believe I can achieve and it happens. Do what you love and the success will come.
Ever hear faith without work is dead? Well it is. You can’t just say "I want this or that" and expect it to come true. You must take action, talk to people, find a mentor, study, and meditate. Trust that in taking these steps it will improve your life.
Accept that this won’t happen overnight but as long as you are moving forward and toward something, you will get where you want to go. It won’t be on your time and remember you can only control and do your part. Remember the circle in which you walk is where you are. Take time enjoy this journey.
You have to have faith, even if its only a little. Do what you can to draw on and learn to believe in yourself and in life.
I really like this one: give yourself permission to fail. If you don’t fail or if you are afraid to fail, then you won’t try. Don’t be afraid, move through it.
Learn to treat yourself right. Let it be simple but let it grow. Gym, a healthy diet, meditation, and prayer are all life affirming. Add them all to your life learn to be at peace with what you do and continue to do it.
Another favorite. Do what is best for you. It’s your life, do what you want for yourself not for anyone else. I often thought this was hard, especially after people pleasing and seeking, but how are you supposed to be happy if you aren’t living for yourself? Live for your expectations.
Stay present realize where you are is where you are. Take 3 deep breaths and realize this moment is all you have. Focus focus focus.
Surround yourself with supportive people. Let go of toxic relationships. Be grateful for your friends, especially the ones who have seen the best and worst of you. I am so lucky with this. I have so many great friends whose lives I’ve been able to touch and have touched me. I am really blessed with this one.
About the Author
PDF received during treatment and is provided courtesy of Justin Brewer.
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