Recovery Post Alcohol Intervention: Still Learning

I have been in recovery now for fifteen years; after nearly a decade of heavy drinking, my family had organized an alcohol intervention for me. Today, I still rely on a few things to calm my nerves from time to time. Since I can't pick up a drink and be responsible about it, my self-medication is my yoga practice. I have known about yoga for a long time, discovering it shortly after my alcohol intervention, but I have only been serious about my practice for the last three years.

I was extremely lucky to discover my particular yoga class as my instructor is in recovery herself. Someone in my AA meetings recommended her class and I have not missed one session since my first class. My instructor and I have become very close over the last couple of years; her guidance and serenity have been inspirational to say the least. We both share the same ACOA (adult child of an alcoholic) mindset and outlook on life. We lean on each other and can understand each other without words. Our language is meditation.

I will never forget her explanation when I first committed myself to yoga practice. She said, "with practice, meditation changes the brain's chemistry. It short-circuits our knee-jerk reactions and then little defects we believe about ourselves." That is when it clicked for me. I just had to remember how to access my calming coping mechanisms and I could stay away from the alcohol. There was suddenly still so much hope left for my recovery and less worry about a possible, impending relapse.

Without her and without my meditation, I don't know that I would be able to celebrate this many years of recovery. I was dangerously close to relapse when fate intervened and our paths crossed. It just goes to show that no matter how many years of recovery you might be celebrating, you are still vulnerable for a relapse. Moreover, no matter how many years of recovery you celebrate, you may still stand to learn a few tricks to help you stay away from that drug of choice. Today I not only express gratitude for that first alcohol intervention all those years ago but also I am grateful for fate's intervention that brought Theresa into my life.

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