*This blog post was sponsored by Workit Health. All of these opinions are my own. Please note that I am not a licensed medical professional nor addiction specialist. If you’re interested in trying Workit Health, you can use the discount code workitrocks for 25% off.*
The recovery world has evolved quite a bit over the last few years. Society has accepted that if someone has a drinking problem they must admit to being an alcoholic and begin working the 12 Steps in an AA meeting. Or check into rehab. That school of thought wasn’t inviting to someone like me: a young party girl with a social binge drinking problem. I went to one AA meeting. It wasn’t for me. I was lucky enough to find sobriety through yoga, writing, therapy, and supportive loved ones. If I had found Workit Health when I was in early sobriety, it would have made my transition into sober life quite a bit easier.
A year into sobriety, I found Workit Health. Maybe I should say that they found me. I freelanced for them for a brief time, but the best part was getting to work with an online Workit Health recovery coach at my fingertips. Through a series of interactive exercises and writing prompts, I took a deeper look into why I drank until I blacked out for 12 years. The online coach and I established some recovery-focused goals that I could focus on. Not only did she give me tools to stay sober, she helped me address another addiction of mine: overworking. She helped me learn how to “just say no” to both alcohol and overcommitting. Here’s a few of the many exercises from Workit Health that helps me work through my recovery and stay sober.
This section helped me visualize myself at home for the holidays. My vision had comforting images like family pets and my cozy bed. It also had some not-so-comforting images like wine glasses and family related emotional baggage. Dad might bring up making America great again. Or not. Mom and I might get into a fight. Or not. The smell of wine might trigger some uncomfortable memories. Or not. This exercise helped me mentally prepare for the aforementioned scenarios by reminding me that life is going to happen the way it’s going to happen. It has nothing to do with me. I can only control my actions and reactions.
This exercise is great for anytime of year. Not just holiday-specific. It also helps me mentally prepare for when my routine will be shaken up for various reasons like traveling or moving. As a New Yorker, moving happens more frequently then one would think.
“Give Alcohol a Name”
Come up with a name?! The writer in me gave this one some serious thought. After much mental debating, I named alcohol “Destroyer” because it embodied both rock n roll and self-destruction. Destroyer was KISS’s 4th album and alcohol was the catalyst to my self-destruction. Naming the substance that took away 12 years of my life and hundreds of thousands of dollars from my bank account helped me see alcohol as it’s own entity instead of a flaw in my personal character. I’ve related much of my personality to alcohol both as a drinker and now as a sober woman. I see my life in two segments: drinking and not drinking. Or should I say destroying or not destroying. This prompt asked me questions that I hadn’t asked myself. Questions that never came up in therapy. Questions like “When did Destroyer first overstay its welcome?” and “What would the next chapter of your life look like if Destroyer was still involved?”. It’s a little corny, but it totally works.
“Abstinence is one Option, not the only Option”
I found this exercise to be incredibly modern and refreshing. Like I mentioned before, society has somewhat accepted that if someone has a drinking problem, they quit drinking. Workit Health offers a realistic approach to changing your relationship to alcohol. This method can be controversial to traditional sober folks, but I see it as progressive. It’s possible to have a drinking problems and not be an addict or alcoholic. This exercise offered tips on how to change your relationship with alcohol – not just give it up. If I was introduced to mindful drinking tips at a younger age, I may not have developed an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. Abstinence is scary. It’s not realistic for everyone. And who knows? Maybe moderation could be the “gateway drug” to abstinence. 🙂
Workit Health is an effective option in the modern recovery world. I’m now able to email a recovery coach and work on exercises that are designed to help me stay clean – in the comfort of my own home. Like the 12 Steps, these exercises are applicable to everyone. You don’t have to be society’s idea of an addict to want to better yourself.
Photographer: NonLinear Knitting