People are busy. Some people seem to enjoy ‘out-busying’ others. It’s like there’s this weird one-upmanship thing going on. Are we supposed to be impressed by the busy factor? Next time someone tries to out-busy you, quietly observe their demeanour. Often, I observe that when people relay their busy factor (e.g.school drop offs, cricket practice, mum-in-laws birthday party, taking the cat to the vet), they seldom appear happy, fulfilled or content . Rather, they look frazzled and burnt out.
Bye Bye busy factor
In the first weeks/months off the wine, literature indicated that looking after myself was paramount for success. In my mind, sobriety is one thing (I consider sobriety as not physically imbibing EtOH); recovery is another. Recovery, to me, is about understanding WHY I drunk. You know, reallly getting under the hood. For example, it’s about getting to the nub of one’s desire to use alcohol as a coping mechanism and the inner child stuff. It’s ugly, it’s hard, it’s painful. But shining a light on those demons is the only way to gear up and eradicate them.
In order to start answering the hard questions and getting down to the raw, painful reality of it all, I needed to be in the right mindset and place. Let’s be realistic; it’s not the kind of stuff you can be doing when friends pop in for coffee or a public place like work’s cafe. So enter the solo retreat. Consider it a kickstart to recovery and initiation of the self care our mind/body/spirit has been craving for years.
Hello holiday house
About a month ago, I got online and booked a holiday house for the weekend. Leaving the cat, my partner and general weekend responsibilities at home, I got in the car and headed off. And there’s been no looking back. Yes it felt a bit uncomfortable being on my own company at first. But the weirdness was soon replaced with beach walks, coffee and sunshine. Here are a few pics from my adventure.
So what did I do while I was retreating? I retreated into my own little state of bliss. I:
- Got up early to enjoy the sunrise at the beach.
- Did yoga – particularly restorative yoga and yin yoga. Learn why yoga is important in early recovery here.
- Ate what I liked (no cooking for others!)
- Slept when I liked.
- Gratitude journalled my little heart out. Learn how to start a gratitude journal here.
- Worked through Annie Grace’s book This Naked Mind. See what others have to say about This Naked Mind here.
And of course, I took pics and wrote this. My intention being to share (and hopefully inspire!) a little slice of my first ever solo retreat with you.
- In modern society where the busy factor reigns supreme, time out and NOT being busy trumps it hands down.
- Getting under the hood of WHY I drunk and setting in place a plan to overcome these demons has been key to my recovery.
- Merely being sober is not enough going far enough. Terminating those demons to recover is paramount to being amongst the 15% of people who achieve 90 days of sobriety successfully.
You’re probably thinking that a solo retreat sounds lovely… but wait. Let me guess. You’re to BUSY??? Career? Kids? Pets? Job? Partner? I thought I was too busy too. But with careful planning and prioritising, you can make it happen. It doesn’t have to be a fancy, luxurious hotel. It’s simply about putting yourself first for once, if you are serious about overcoming your drinking. If you are genuinely committed to laying off the booze, you have to be 100% committed to your recovery. If you are only 90% committed, it’s likely that you will be in the 85% of people who don’t get to 90 days of sobriety successfully.
Sound ruthless? Yes. But if becomming sober was easy, why do people continually relapse and fail miserably? For me, I needed to smash this 90 days out of the park. In order to do this, I needed to carve little chunks out of each month for me, as part of a broader recovery and self care process. Otherwise I’ll be back on the booze in a flash.
Life is too short to spend Sunday morning in bed hungover. As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts and questions.
Thank you for reading, it’s been an honour to share this with you.