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Each week, Surfside Structured Sober Living posts an “Early Sobriety Life Hack,” which is a simple, actionable step that we can take to manage anxiety, relieve stress, and increase contentment with life (especially in early recovery from addiction).  Some may be recovery-focused, while others are helpful to truly anyone who wants to boost peace of mind! Read on for this week’s…

How quickly our mood can change in early recovery, right? We can be feeling positive and excited for the future, then make a hard right into feeling miserable, complacent or lost.  It’s tempting to crawl back into bed and pretend the world doesn’t exist, which tends to set off more feelings of self-loathing (“I’m so lazy, I accomplished nothing, I’ll never be successful…”).  Our simple solution to combat this? Honor your commitments.

Some of this may look like “showing up” (and we talk a lot about the importance of showing up) for plans you previously made, like attendance at a 12-step meeting.  It may look like accomplishing one of your small goals for the day: doing your laundry, grocery shopping, applying for a job, updating your resume or calling your mom just to say hello.  The rewards here are two-fold.  First, you’ll boost your own self-esteem by keeping promises to yourself. Second, you’ll continue to be in the stream of life, where you can interact with others, get vulnerable, and talk about what’s going on with you.  When we remain at the center of the herd, even when our inner voice is telling us not to, we allow others to help us.  

Being unreliable and irresponsible are things we do well in active addiction.  No longer using substances is just the beginning of a journey to recovery – there’s action we need to take in order to change for the better.  That means having integrity.  If we say we’re going to be somewhere or do something, it’s our duty to honor that commitment, because it shows self-respect and respect for others.  Remember, other people’s time is valuable too! Everyone has distractions and challenges in their personal lives, which we often forget when we’re consumed with ourselves. 

Don Miguel Ruiz’s book “The Four Agreements” is filled with wisdom, and he encourages us to “Be Impeccable with Your Word.”  In short, our word is all we have.  We want to speak with kindness and honesty, because if our actions don’t reflect what we’re saying, then we have no credibility.  So honor the commitments you make, show up for life even when your brain wants you to run, and trust that there’s freedom in walking through the difficult moments.