This page will be for all things recovery.
♥ Dedicated to the #recoveryposse on Twitter/IG. ♥
I created this page because some of the artists who have gifted us here on under1000skies.org over the years have been familiar with addiction and have overcome it. They are my heroes. Also, I recently had a bad relapse which I write about here:
Updated: 15 May 2023*
During November or December 2022, as the holidays approached, and as I faced the seventh year with no news of my son Benjamin, I lost hope. I began drinking again. Not excessively, but on weekends with my husband. I occasionally ate dairy, meat, and fish again. I became completely obsessed with the new WoW EP so much so that, by March 2023, I had 17 level 70s. Basically, I checked out of life. Again.
On the anniversary of the 7th year since Ben disappeared, March 2, 2023, I vowed to change again. But it wasn’t until today, May 15, 2023, that I took stock of the damage I had done in the past four months.
I have been sick for a week, and today I gave myself permission to relax. I spent hours reading The Kindness Method. I did the “Snapshot Letter.” I also did two “Maps.” Rereading those after sending the pix and measurements kept me from spiraling. Physically, I’ve never been worse off. But mentally, I’m ready.
21 May 2023: As of this writing, I finished the book and did all the maps. I highly recommend it. (See below.)
seven years he’s been gone
and after today I’m done with mourning
it hasn’t done me any good
nor anyone around me
this sea of black, this drowning grief
is killing me slowly
and to give into it
is as surely suicide as
the pill or
no answers, only more questions
and the only thing I’ve learned is that
my worst fear won’t kill me
it only makes me wish I were dead
for a while anyway
but now I want to live
if he’s alive, he’s left us
and the grief is for that
if he’s dead, he’s left us
and the grief is for that
but the worst is not knowing which
pulled back and forth between
the despair of a choice he made
and the despair of his life, cut short
I’m done with it
I’ve gotten sick and old in these years
almost died to disease, but
I beat it
grief is another kind of disease
a disease of the heart
and my change of heart
— change of mind
is the cure
you won’t see me write about him any more unless it comes from a place of light because that is how I’ll picture him
in the light, laughing
playing a tune on the piano
smiling that beautiful, crooked smile
I’m done with grief-Niki Flow
I’m focusing on the love
The Kindness Method by Shahroo Izadi
Lapse / Relapse – Early Warning Checklist
- Attending meetings less regularly or skipping them altogether.
- Not doing enough planning about how I’ll get to meetings.
- Losing touch with important members of my recovery support network.
- Neglecting my personal hygiene.
- Not making time for mindful practices.
- Not taking pride in my appearance and my surroundings.
- Starting to get into old negative patterns of thinking about myself and others.
- Making contact with acquaintances from the past who are still using.
- Making less of an effort to avoid or plan for my high-risk situations.
- Not nurturing relationships with my family and friends.
- Isolating myself and not calling on my support in times of need.
- Adopting other unhealthy or unwanted habits.
- Failing to notice increasing feelings of anger and frustration.
- Neglecting my physical health.
- Not getting enough fresh air.
- Missing medical appointments or important meetings.
- Becoming sleep deprived, or not ensuring I get quality rest.
- Create your own list.
“Looking back, you always find it was the ants that carried you away and not the elephant.”-Client in Recovery
Whenever You’re Ready
“If you find yourself in a sustained relapse with a particular habit, you can start working through the relevant maps* again. The groundwork is done, and you’re already doing the work every day.” Shahroo Izadi, The Kindness Method
I finished The Kindness Method last night. One great thing about being sick is I can put aside things for now. I was able to focus on every single exercise in the book.
*In the 5th chapter, Shahroo introduces her first “Map.” It’s called “Ways I’m Happy to Be.” She talks about the inner bully (or bullies) that many people who are survivors of trauma and addiction have, big time. She used a great analogy about how to reframe this inner conversation. This is paraphrased:
Think of your mind as a room with a couch in the middle of it. On the couch is your inner bully (bullies) stretched out and comfortable, talking constantly about you, trash-talking you. Now imagine a new person, your new viewpoint, comes into the room and at first just observes this inner bully. Then, when the bully says something they know to be wrong, the new person says, “No, actually. That’s not true, because…” and they list reasons why the bully is wrong. This new person has a curious and interested debate with the bully rather than an angry rant. And soon the bully isn’t so comfortable anymore. They’re not stretched out on the couch, and now the new person can sit down next to the bully, observing curiously and without animosity. Your “Ways I’m Happy to Be” Map gives your rational person in the room the tools and ammunition they need to counter unfair, unkind, and flat-out false accusations the bully makes, and has been making for years. (paraphrased)-Shahroo Izadi
So then you’re asked to write things you like about yourself, and the chapter gives you loads of ideas for filling in the blanks. I wrote it all down in my notebook and then made a graphic of the first map (below). I made all the other maps too (there are several). The next we get to make is the “Things I’m Proud Of” Map. This gives the Rational Person ↑ in your mind’s inner room plenty to counter the Bully (or Bullies) with.
My start date for creating small changes is June 4th.* (*I had to put it out a week because I have pneumonia. I will hopefully be much better by then.) Then I check in with myself in three weeks and reevaluate and begin a new plan. These weeks are when the Cacohphany Chorus shows up big time, and I learn to step in and shut it down. By the time I start, I plan to have all the maps made into graphics, and about 100 affirmations, half of which Shahroo read off (I got the audiobook) which were one of her clients’ affirmations. They’re so good.
Gift for You:
If you read The Kindness Method and make your maps, and if you want me to create graphics for you, I’ll be happy to. I can also send you the completed affirmation graphics when I’m done, but I can’t share them since they are part of the book.
I find helpful ideas all over, so I will put them here in case others in our Recovery Posse (or anyone!) finds them useful. I loved this video and I’m trying to learn these Japanese words. I think they are beautiful. ♥