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Service (and how it keeps us sober)

August 12th, 2014 Mrs D's Blog

I’m having an emotional couple of days. I was a bit shaky yesterday, cried at Yoga last night – not sure why – was doing a downward dog and the tears were plopping down onto my mat. Slept like crap (cats fighting outside didn’t help) and found myself listening to Tara at 4am. God I love that woman…(!).

This isn’t for sympathy or to whine or even really open myself up too much, but just to reiterate that we all have our ups and downs all the time.. life’s like that.. moods come and go, hormones surge, shit happens, yadda yadda. Living sober means dealing with all of that stuff raw and that’s what I do now and that’s fine. I don’t crave alcohol any more.. I just grit and grind my way through.

And I do the things that make me feel good – listen to Tara (of course), listen to cheesy pop music (just bought Taylor Swift’s Red album and it’s playing loudly as I type – so fun!), burning oils (hippy me), eating a little bit of sugar (white chocolate – a small bar I promise!) and most important of all I talk to people who are trying to get sober. I talk to them on their blogs, and I talk to them here at Living Sober.

I do this for them and I do it for me. Because helping others helps me. It’s actually been researched and proven – helping others brings measurable physical and psychological benefits to the helper according to this addictions researcher in the US.  Her studies have shown that addicts who help others, even in small ways—can significantly improve their chances of staying sober and avoiding relapse.

It’s called Service.

The wonderful podcast show for people in recovery The Bubble Hour has just done an entire episode on this concept. They say in their introduction “When we were drinking, we felt afraid and lonely. We craved isolation on the one hand, but on the other hand, we were terrified at how alone in the world we felt. Now, in sobriety, we have learned to let down our guard. Vulnerability and honesty make room for authentic connections with our family and friends, with other people in recovery, with our communities. Building a true network fills us with joy and a new sense of safety in the world. How do we make this good stuff last? How do we keep our fears and our egos from busting up our serenity, especially in a way that threatens our sobriety? The answer is simple: Service!”

That’s one of the main great things about Living Sober – it provides a forum where we can very easily help each other and provide ‘service’ (to use the technical term…!) The other great thing is that here in a safe, anonymous environment we can start to reveal our truths.

Writing truthful updates about where you’re at is helpful thing #1. Commenting on others updates and boosting them along is helpful thing #2. With those combined you will be well on your way to Peaceful Sobriety Island.

Living Sober Members are already getting this. Check out this interaction from last night:

Member 1 Update: “6.10pm. Hanging on to the wagon – just! All I can say is I’m pleased there is no booze in the house.

Member 2 Reply: “Stay focused mate, one more sleep and another day ticked off – you can beat it man.

Member 3 Reply: “Think about climbing into bed sober. Think about waking up hangover free.”

Member 4 Reply: “Hey that’s the advice he gives to everyone else! Come on, you can do it – go out and mentor someone else on the page and build your resolve – before you know it you will be on that wagon riding across the prairie leaving those demons in your dirt!”

Member 5 Reply: “Ride it out kid. I’m only one day behind you in the conga line so I guess that means I’ve got your back. Check you in the morning buddy. You’ve got this.

Member 6 Reply: “You have been so supportive of others on this site, you CAN do it. You will be so pleased with yourself tomorrow.

Member 1 Update: “7.30pm. Another sober day. So satisfying. Thank you Mrs D and friends. To those of you who made it through today, whether it’s Day 1 or 101 – congratulations. You rock! That booze shit is soooo addictive. To those of you who struggled and were beaten by the booze, remember, we are in this for the long haul, we are here for each other, and tomorrow is a new day. ‘Night all, and thankyou. From the bottom of my heart. xx

Now if that interaction doesn’t make your Tuesday better I don’t know what will.

Love, Mrs D xxx


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