If you’ve been sober for a while you know that it can sometimes be a little tough to keep things fresh in your recovery. You go to meetings, and you see the same people, and sometimes it sounds like you just hear the same things over and over again. You want to stay sober and you love AA. You certainly don’t want to drink again, but it’s getting a little boring and it’s getting a little old, too. So here are some ways that you can mix it up and make sure that you keep your recovery fresh while maintaining solid sobriety.
1. Try attending some other meetings. It might not be AA as a whole but rather just the same characters that you’re used to seeing at your usual meeting that are getting to you. So try checking out some other meetings. Maybe go to some other towns or even just go to some other meetings in your own town and see what they’re like. Different meetings have different styles and also different feels to them. So you might meet some new cool people. And you might also hear some different things from what you’re used to hearing.
2. Try reading some literature other than recovery literature. The Big Book and the 12 and 12 are both great as is many of the other AA approved literature. But, if those are the only things that you’re reading related to your personal growth and personal development, it might get a little one dimensional after a while. Think about picking up some other books about self development, some books about meditation, or reading related to your religion of choice. You might also consider attending some workshops that are related to personal growth, but not necessarily recovery focused. An important consideration here is to remember not to replace your recovery with other forms of personal growth, but rather use them to supplement it. Keep a strong foundation in meetings but adding to it to enhance your overall well-being and recovery is a good strategy.
3. You might also consider seeking some outside help. It’s very common for people in recovery to also work with therapists. Just because you’re sober doesn’t mean that there aren’t underlying conditions and patterns that warrant investigation with a professional. If you feel stuck in your recovery and have worked all 12 steps, there might be some other work that you need to do. Sometimes it takes some deeper digging to get to the root of some issues or trauma you’ve experienced in the past.
4. Try working with newcomers as well. Oftentimes we can get stuck in a rut because we’re hanging out with the same people who are our friends in recovery who all have the same amount of recovery. So we don’t see the value of the newcomer who’s getting sober for the first time. Working with newcomers is a great way to not only boost your own recovery but to also help someone who is struggling and trying to get their footing in their own recovery. It can be a healthy reminder of where you once were and alleviate feelings of complacency. Plus it feels great to be of service and to give back. And also it feels great to know that you have things that people want and that you have a lot of recovery wisdom that you can impart on others.
Lastly it’s important to just sometimes stick it out. You might not want to go to the meeting. But it’s probably good just to go anyway. Our minds can tell us that we’ve heard it all or that there’s nothing new that we can learn or that we're recovered. But, that can often just be our ego getting in the way. It’s not uncommon for all humans to just go through some slumps in any period of life. So, remember the slogan that this too shall pass and keep going to your meetings. Before you know it you’ll be back in your groove again.