A sense of balance

When one area of my life is out of whack I have found it important to have something useful to serve as a kind of counterweight to it.

Having a life outside one’s job (for example) provides a sense of balance. When we work full-time we have a sense of displacement in our lives. Work occupies so much of our time that the things outside it like family and home are often shoved to the margins or ignored or otherwise given second-rate status. The need to provide income to support the family gets in the way of fully realizing what is truly important, and that is the family and home you are working to support.

Not rejecting the importance of providing for the family, there must be a realization that something must be done to restore a certain sense of balance to the whole equation. Time must be carved out of whatever “free time” you have off from work so as to devote to family and home.

Why is this important? Because when all this is out of whack, there lies the path back to drinking. An easy way to cope with the stress and anxiety is to drink. Bad idea.

Eliminate distracting non-essentials. Television really isn’t that important. It isn’t quality time spent with family. (Perhaps the occasional movie or ballgame being an exception. I also make room for the Star Trek sagas, but I actually haven’t seen them in over 2 1/2 years due to not having cable TV or satellite.The DVD’s are too expensive.) Anyway, a productive and meaningful life outside of work is healthy and sober. I am married and my wife is cute, funny and intelligent. Way more fun than TV. We spend lots of time outside putting gardens in or touring the countryside. We “go outside to get outside.”

I also blog. Writing is an avocation for me and it helps me improve my sense of self-worth. I hope to eventually do it full-time (blogging and fiction writing). At any rate, all these do provide an effective counterweight to work. Not always 100% effective, but more certain than moping and zoning out in front of the TV. Or drinking.

I am also Catholic. My faith is important to me and it has helped me weather many storms since becoming sober. It provides fulfillment and a healthy disconnect from the ways of the world so that I am not sucked into its madness and silliness. I am in the world, but not of it. Jesus came to heal the sick, and His Church is one of healing. The Eucharist and Confession are excellent ways to clean up the wreckage of the past. The sacramental and prayer life of the Church are also wonderful ways of maintaining that sense of balance. Nothing like raising your heart, mind and soul up to God to gain a real perspective.

“This, too, shall pass.” Only if you’re moving along.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"