When I was drinking, I did not care for myself – so, when I finally stopped drinking, I did not understand there are better and worse ways to care for me. Hearing some in the program say, Take care of yourself sounded like a selfish benediction. But for someone who had a confusing collection of contradictory motivational mantras, the instruction – admonition – to care for myself has been sound counsel.
Self-care is not selfish – it is good stewardship of the gift God has given me — a body, mind and spirit to live in this wonderful, crazy world.
“We should be sensible, tactful, considerate and humble without being servile or scraping. As God’s people we stand on our feet; we don’t crawl before anyone.” ― Alcoholics Anonymous
In sobriety, I have come to understand that taking care of me means more than not drinking. (It’s Great to Have Choices, Huh?) The suggestions I have heard in AA ran counter to what I thought my operating instructions were – but they are good orderly directions.
Getting sober is not a competition.
- resign as ruler of my world – God did not die and leave me in charge.
- ask for help and accept help – K.I.S.S.
- make the changes I can, daily – Easy does it – One Day at A Time
- quit punishing myself and others for simply being who we are – human. Progress not Perfection.
In meetings, and in the literature I am learning how others are being good to themselves, and I pass it along with love and prayers for our recovery. Why I Still Go to Meetings
Put down whatever weapons I use against myself and others to get my way.
“We sometimes hurt those we love because they need to be “taught a lesson,” when we really want to punish. We were depressed and complained we felt bad, when in fact we were mainly asking for sympathy and attention. This odd trait of mind and emotion, this perverse wish to hide a bad motive underneath a good one, permeates human affairs from top to bottom. This subtle and elusive kind of self-righteousness can underlie the smallest act or thought. Learning daily to spot, admit, and correct these flaws is the essence of character-building and good living. An honest regret for harms done, a genuine gratitude for blessings received, and a willingness to try for better things tomorrow will be the permanent assets we shall seek.” ― Alcoholics Anonymous, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
What have you learned that you can pass along to a hurting heart? A reminder that helps me is from the Scripture: James 5:16
Love in Christ,
Sober and Greatful