A Look At Happy Sobriety

We are honored to have Michele Garcia as our guest blogger today, with an inspiring article on ‘happy sobriety’. Michele is the owner operator of Cielo Sober Living, a place where women can recover in a holistic environment, always with a spiritual foundation. These are Michele’s thoughts on happiness and sobriety;

Happiness is a state of well-being, contentment, joy, bliss, satisfaction and delight, as we are told by Merriam-Webster. Well, that is completely out of the question when most of us think we will never laugh again. We have used up all the laughter and fun with our drinking and drugging. And, now that that’s over, what’s left for us is going to be a slow march to the grave. How possibly can we ever have any fun or laughter without our friend the bottle? Our friend the spoon? Our friend the needle, pipe, and or glass? This must be the end. As we surrender to the recovery process, however, we slowly find ourselves chuckling at the silly stuff people say. Soon, we are amazed at how laughter feels dancing though our bodies. “Hey, this laughing feels good real good.”

While these substances may numb negative emotions temporarily, they only provide a false sense of happiness. In sobriety, you will experience every kind of emotion; but you will also have comfort in knowing that these feelings are yours. This means that when you are living drug- and alcohol-free, your happiness is something that has developed from concrete actions or realizations. A program of attraction living in recovery is constant work in challenging our souls to grow to seek GOD and have new ideas bringing forward new experiences with opportunities to learn more about whom we are and our life purpose. In my journey, I have found that celebrating life with community, and the joy it brings, is a great gift to share. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous says we are to “Create the fellowship we crave,” that “We are not a glum lot,” and that we absolutely “insist on having fun.” I have held many sober events days for a community with a background in theater. I found it fun as I started working in the field of recovery to produce sober talent shows for recovering individuals to find a safe and supportive space for creative expression to bring great joy.

I have also found AA conventions a great way to experience the boundless unity of our global spiritual movement, which is said to be largest in world. The unity extends to all. Getting sober at the age of 21, it was vital for my spirit to feel its newly awakened joy, and I found it rewarding to host parties and invite others to live, love, and laugh with music, dancing and good food. It was, and continues to be, never a dull moment. We really are what we make of ourselves with our daily deeds and with the spiritual kit of tools that the 12-step program offers. There is no limit to the way that sobriety will continue to breed new methods and reasons to celebrate.

In happy sobriety, we can find a way to expand a loving and happy experience. Through my journey of recovery, I was called to get an education in an area that would allow me to work on the power to heal. I enrolled in a master’s program of spiritual psychology. I found a new love getting sober. It was vital for my spirit to feel its newly awakened joy.
With my education and newly acquired skill set, I experienced more clearing and ability to help others. In substance abuse, an individual may be high and feel happy, but it is not a sort of happiness that they can genuinely share with others. While loved ones will likely initially feel relieved when you begin your addiction recovery journey, it is only the beginning of a much brighter future.
In sobriety, you will face many challenges in rebuilding and creating relationships without using drugs or alcohol as a crutch. This hard work will pay off, as you will experience the true joys of connecting with others, as we rely on them and provide support to them.

“True joy comes from operating with inner directedness and recognizing who you are,” says Sanaya Roman. It’s a joy in life to co-create with spirit and manifest my heartfelt dreams. I get to guide others to do so, too. The joy to know that with God’s grace you can create the kind of life you choose, whatever that looks like for you, is pretty much the very last thing a person in early recovery thinks is possible. Having fun and doing fun stuff is contrary because it may seem that our lives are ruined, and we have come to the end of the line. Life is over as we know it; we are at the bottom of the barrel, finished, washed up, dead. From that place, fun isn’t exactly in the forefront of our minds. Life is misery, is torment, is lost dreams, is lost families, is lovers, is friends… but fun? No way. So the notion that fun is going to play a large part in our recovery seems incomprehensible.

What the sobriety newcomer is discovering for him or herself is that laughter is healing. It’s medicine for the body, mind, and soul! Simple things and fun things that we thought we’d never do again… become a common event. Laughter! Who would’ve of a thought it boosts confidence, burns calories, increases longevity and help us get through the toughest times? How marvelous that there is such a simple remedy for so many problems?! Our chest begins to loosen from all the worry and stress of a life in turmoil. Our hands stop sweating, our eyes get brighter, and our head clears up from all the chatter and internal chaos. Our hearts… ok now wait… stop right there! Our HEARTS feel open, light and warm. Is this possible? Many of us forgot we even had a heart at all — at least not one filled with anything other than remorse, sorrow, shame and guilt. So now we face another daunting task. What to do with all of this? Dare I say that experiencing happiness without even realizing it may cause us to feel like we can re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere again and live a productive life.

Addiction is a real roadblock when it comes to pursuing your dreams, whether you want to start a family, follow a career, explore creativity, or travel the world. Sometimes, even if you are engaged incielo6 substance abuse and working toward your goals, your senses are likely dulled, making it hard to truly appreciate every level of progress in your life journey.
“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared,” according to the Buddha. Once sober, you will not only gain clarity and balance on the challenges that were a part of your addiction, but you will also have a clearer vision of who you are and what you want to do. With a newfound sense of direction, you can truly enjoy being you and developing through experiences that make you happy. Once filled with laughter again, without help from alcohol or drugs… maybe we can be the useful members of a society that we previously had shunned! Maybe we can learn to be of service to one another. And, how marvelous that it all started from a simple giggle, a little joy, a little happiness and a little fun.


December 3, 2015

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