Last month we discussed a new series of articles focusing on the tools to build recovery capital by addressing some of the common struggles, questions, and successes that can present challenges to our mind, body and soul, even while sober. Building recovery capital means just that, building up enough resources, tools, and community inside the rooms of recovery and during the recovery process to rely on when things are difficult - when life asks us who we are. This “recovery capital” will help guide us through the rough times, to grow and adapt to life’s challenges to eventually come out the other end with new meaning and purpose.
Our first article focused on the Buddhist philosophy “Chop Wood, Carry Water” - doing the work required to participate in having a meaningful life. This next article will go a step further and discuss how when we do the work it can add up our recovery capital in order to amass a “recovery fortune” to rely on when times are tough. Again, the concept is built around a conscious choice to invest in yourself by building recovery capital to become the person you were meant to be. We are not talking about riches and glory (although those things can certainly happen) but about building up the resources, knowledge and skill sets to take each day with a feeling of confidence and pride.
Amassing Fortune Takes Work and Practice just like anything else in life. The idea of winning the lottery while grand is often a distraction from putting in the daily maintenance that over time adds up. Sure a quick payout would be great for many reasons, but amassing a fortune in this way provides little for our sense of accomplishment or the value of what we now have. Building recovery capital is a long-term investment, except the payout is not solely focused on the tangible things we often take for granted, but our own betterment - a real investment in self. With this daily practice we can then add value to every aspect of our lives, build the relationships with friends, family and colleagues we always dreamed of creating, and find a sense of purpose and serenity.
The value in building recovery capital may not seem present in the moment, but putting in the work will pay off when you need it. Everyday you spend sober is another day spent with a clear mind, you may need this when you are feeling a sudden urge to use, even a few days of sobriety will help you seek resources to provide help when life presents challenges. It may not even be something that you are struggling with personally, it could be a friend or significant other.
The idea is that these recovery tools built up everyday one day at a time - as the big book states - allows us to handle situations that used to baffle us (for ourselves and for others). It will teach us to find solutions without overwhelming anxiety and rely on people and for people to be able to rely on you. Think of this when life gets tough and each day seems the same…
“ Perhaps the first step is that we really should want to unearth God in our midst…Yet, if we can rediscover this vision, then we too may be able to transform what lies to hand, let the mundane become the edge of glory, and find the extraordinary in the ordinary.”
- Esther de Waal, WEAVINGS, June 1987
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