By Recovery Coach Daniel 05/28/2021
Balance is a quality that has consistently eluded me in recovery, in all aspects of my life really. The thing about balance is that you don’t know you’re losing it until it is already gone. With so many roles in life, an employee, a student, a son, a brother, a person in recovery… it’s so easy for myself to let my own self-care fall to the wayside. Each of these responsibilities owes an amount of time and attention. Two of the most important things we have to give. Not only that but I have to dedicate time for myself. I had to rediscover what I like to do by myself. Where did I feel most at home and at peace? I didn’t enter into recovery to only work and get by, to live strictly for the weekends like I had for many years before. In active addiction I had lost the ability to not only be available and present for others, but for myself as well.
I once heard a man, a bit of a sage individual to me, share his own thoughts and experiences on balance. Although I may not be able to convey his message without as much tact as him the general idea was that balance to him was essentially controlled neglect. In practical application it makes a lot of sense. I cannot get everything done in my life, every single day while maintaining any sense of a manageable life. Take household chores for instance, if every single day I was to try to do home improvement projects, vacuum the house, clean the windows, mow the lawn, do the laundry, sweep and mop the floors & take out the trash I may have a clean house, but I would also have no time for anything else in my life. This is where awareness in the neglect comes into play. On one side of things, I cannot neglect a certain responsibility or procrastinate it too long, nor can I do it to a point of diminishing returns. There gets to be a point in anything that if I’m not using moderation the return becomes less than the effort put in. I have to ask myself “Is my time better suited doing something else in life?” Have I neglected a relationship or responsibility in life for too long?
The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed or flustered, take a step back, set some time for yourself and try to evaluate what in life you have been doing too much or too little of. Don’t forget that you can always say no to others. In order to be an asset in the lives of others you have to be the most important person in your own life.