Make your living space a cocoon for your transformation. Buy yourself a teddy bear. You deserve this treatment. Avoid keeping cravings secret. Keeping your cravings secret will add to their power. When you feel like acting our, go to people you trust so you are not alone. In general, secrets are about shame, and shame always makes you more vulnerable. Secrets will keep you from others in recovery.
Seek hobbies, sports, and activities you enjoy. Cultivate these parts of your life so compulsive patterns in working, obsessing, or acting out compete with activities and interests that are rewarding. Alternative passions become new arenas for growth.
Avoid the feeling that you are a victim. You are powerless about your addiction, but you are in charge of your recovery program and your lifestyle. In most areas, you have the choice which can help you achieve the balance needed in your life. Be proactive instead of reactive by acknowledging to yourself and to others what your choices are.
The Twelve Steps are a proven recipe for spiritual wholeness.
Remember that the program started with the realization that without the spiritual component, recovery could not happen. Decide that a spiritual life is essential, not an option. Listen to others share their spiritual experiences and ask how healing happened in their lives. Brokenness, failure, and tragedy have helped many find parts of themselves they had not known. Most also started with anger or fear, skepticism, or detachment. Separate religion from spirituality. Many come with "baggage" about religious institutions that damages or constricted their growth.
Resentment about these experiences can cast shadows over genuine spiritual development. Organizations and institutions are not ends in themselves, but are instead designed to help you have a spiritual life and build a spiritual community. Use only those which help. Spirituality starts with a sense of wonder at our existence and at the wonders of creation — other living things, the oceans and mountains, forests, deserts, and weather. Go for a walk. Take care of a pet. Then connect these miracles with what you see around you.
Make a daily effort.
Key to spiritual life is constancy. Daily rituals that anchor your sense of stability help you achieve incremental spiritual growth. Then when leaps of faith are required and stress overwhelms you, a reservoir of accumulated strength awaits. Find ways to promote reflection. Spirituality is about what is meaningful to you, what gives your life value. Inspirational writing, daily meditation books, liturgy, prayer, journals, yoga exercises, and letter writing are the kinds of things that need to be part of your daily rituals.
These also help you make sense out of special spiritual events. All inner journeys start with an "emptying" of self — a fact reflected in religious traditions. Addicts begin recovery with an admission of powerlessness and live their lives according to the principles of "letting go.
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Much damage has been done to sexuality in the name of religion. The result inhibits progress on both planes. To heal, start by acknowledging that sexuality is about meaning and that spirituality is about meaning. Search for common areas between the two. Be gentle with yourself about old, tortuous conflicts. They are not about you. Number 8 — Enhancing Sexuality Make a sexual leap of faith. Sexual change is gradual, not sudden.
You have to trust and believe that it will happen. This most often-used phrase in this area of advice was "let go and let God.
Sober Dating Plan
Sustain sex with intimacy. Sexual vitality comes from relationships. The challenges of closeness renew sexual interest and deepen the meaning of sex. Talk before, during and after. Verbalizing, passion, needs, and fears are perhaps the best ways of facilitating sexual intimacy. Overcome sexual shame through affirmation of each other. Couples that did the best emphasized the strategy of mutual affirmation. Affirm all the positive things you can see about his or her sexuality and about your sexuality together. Respect boundaries and limits. Building trust helps heal the sexual wounds of the past.
Both partners need permission to say no without fear of reprisal or abandonment. Give profound respect to the other's vulnerability and wishes — even when you don't fully understand them or approve of them. Remember, trust is the goal. To seduce, manipulate, or test your partner's boundaries is extremely destructive. Healing will shift perspectives and boundaries. Breaking the trust again may lead to irreparable damage.
Pay attention to feelings. Addicts and co-addicts learned to sexualize their needs and pain, yet their needs remained unfulfilled, their pain unattended, and their sexuality stifled. Attend to your feelings. You might have to begin by just labeling them. With time you will get better at sorting them out. See sex as legitimate joy. Abandon the grim rules you learned that kept you in addictive and co-addictive obsession.
Creating a Sober Dating Plan
Within your sobriety plan and your boundaries, allow for spontaneity and experimentation. Your recovery principles carve out an area of safety so that you can risk yourself sexually in new, positive and rewarding ways. Take care of your body.