National Recovery Month may officially be over, but our recovery journey certainly isn’t. In fact, here at The Temper (and our parent company, Tempest), recovery and sobriety is what we’re all about — which is why we know that it’s important to talk about recovery all year long. Although the focus on recovery is great, so is continuing to talk about it every day of the year. Which is why we’re continuing to bring you some of the best answers from Tempest’s teaming up with popular sober Instagram account @teedoodler.
In the first week, we shared advice from our community on how to quit drinking. Last week, we talked about sobriety tools to get you through the recovery journey. And this week, we’re digging even deeper into recovery, what makes it work, and what makes it worth it. So we wanted to ask: What’s the most meaningful lesson you’ve learned in recovery?
As usual, our audience did not disappoint. There are so many lessons that we all go through and learn during our sobriety adventures, whether that’s through reading recovery memoirs, listening to podcasts, through attending AA or other meetings, or any other way. There’s lots to learn, basically, but we’re all learning all the time. Below, here are the top 40 lessons we’ve learned in our recovery journey so far… as brought to you by all of you on our Instagram. Happy learning!
1. I am stronger when I ask for help.
2. I must be honest with myself and others in order to stay sober.
3. I’m not DEPRIVED of alcohol. I’m choosing to say “no” to one thing and yes to a million others.
4. Nothing great came easy and the best things in life are worth fighting for.
5. I can, I can, I can.
6. People’s actions are a reflection of them and have nothing to do with me.
7. Not everyone will be supportive… even the ones you thought would be! And that’s okay, because plenty of others will be.
8. Mostly, that my feelings won’t kill me. I know, it sounds silly, but the feels strike hard sometimes.
9. Pause before action.
10. At some point, picking up again is a choice.
I am stronger when I ask for help.
11. Balance. I’m not always calm or happy, but there is much more balance in my life. My emotions aren’t as extreme (ups and downs) but they are authentic and balanced.
12. That quitting drinking is different than being invested in living a healthy lifestyle. Being committed to a healthy lifestyle has helped my “staying power.”
13. That a little gratitude goes a long way.
14. FEAR is GOOD. Embrace it, use, it to go deeper, and transcend.
15. My pain is real and important as the next person’s.
16. I am enough!
17. It gets easier. It’s not always going to be so hard!
18. Don’t compare your insides to someone’s outsides.
19. That the ego shouts, whereas the soul whispers.
20. That I am an introvert and have social anxiety, haha!
It gets easier. It’s not always going to be so hard!
21. Being sober makes time for so much more; more clarity, awareness, positivity, gratitude, and appreciation.
22. That it’s all okay, that it’s going to be okay, and even when it’s not okay, it’s still okay.
23. That when I see something in another person that I dislike, it usually means I have that same quality in myself and I need to work on it.
24. To never give up.
25. That it is different for everyone and the way I choose recovery for myself is just as valid as another person’s recovery.
26. I have the right to establish and maintain personal boundaries! This concept was so foreign to me at first, it was like having someone tell me I had a secret superpower that I’d just never learned how to activate before.
27. These tough feelings won’t last forever.
28. It’s okay to not be okay.
29. That I need new ways to deal with stress!
30. Some friends with leave you. And that’s okay.
These tough feelings won’t last forever.
31. Cravings (feelings) are temporary. They pass.
32. That I don’t have to spend my waking hours fraught with anxiety.
33. That even the shit times are beautiful… in hindsight.
34. If you’re stuck on any part of your recovery work, a two-day retreat can really help you breakthrough. The concentration and quiet reflection and are paramount.
35. Even if there’s a slip, you never lose what you learned and you can pick yourself up and quit for good.
36. Not to doubt my own inner strength.
37. That it’s okay to be uncomfortable.
38. That I CAN do it!!
39. That drinking dulls the best parts of you. Within a month of sobriety, I felt the urge to make art and write again, which are habits I hadn’t nurtured in years. I didn’t really notice those parts of me were gone until they came back.
40. That I don’t have to drink. It sounds so simple but I thought I had to because of our society’s expectations.
It’s okay if you’ve yet to learn some of these lessons, or if some of them don’t resonate with you. It’s also likely you’ve learned more than 40 lessons in recovery so far. Life is a journey, after all, and getting and staying sober is a big part of it for many of us. You’ll always have these lessons fall back on but you’ll learn plenty more in the future, too. Don’t be afraid to learn them — and share them with us, too!