Waking up Sober, Waking up with Cancer

Our rescue dog Grace when we first got her and today

Years ago when I first got sober, after a couple of weeks in detox, on waking up in the morning, I was filled with energy.  The same is not true today with cancer diagnosis.  I certainly don’t bounce out of bed and am now more apt to roll over for another fifteen or thirty minutes to doze.

When I first got sober, upon waking I would immediately read the daily devotionals at my bedside and perhaps an article out of the Grapevine magazine, just to get my head in a good space for the day ahead.  Today, I have a different routine but with the similar results:

  • The very first thing I do after, brushing my teeth, taking my morning meds, starting a pot of coffee and feeding the Grace is to write morning pages – a sort of stream of consciousness narrative meant to clear my head and get me rolling into the day.  I notice particularly of late the pages are more uplifting and affirming and focus on the goodness of life and the day ahead – less complaining and more gratitude.
  • I next respond to a question in my Overeaters Anonymous 12-Step Workbook.  I am now on Step 11.  This morning’s question was “In what ways does God speak to me?”  This is another activity that leads me in a solution-driven recovery direction.  As I only have about 3 weeks left of questions in what has been a six-month exercise, I am not certain what I will replace this activity with when I finish Step 12.
  • I then write a note to someone as described in an earlier post.
  • Next, I get a cup of coffee, take my laptop, and along with Grace, move my operation to the back porch where I post three things for which I am grateful to an OA Facebook group.
  • I am then mindful and prayerful and ask for the guidance on a path toward true self in the day ahead.

Then the rest of life begins.  There is a continuity in my waking up activities from the early days of sobriety to today – though the tools have changed over the time and I am certain will continue to change in the future.  I enjoy that every day, I start off by reminding myself that I am an addict walking a recovery road.  I am not certain where each of my current morning “rituals” developed, but I am incredibly grateful that they have been with me over the years, morphing to meet new circumstances and needs, but always there.  To me, this is just another example of how my past years in addiction recovery has prepared me to face my new life with cancer.

Today, although I do not jump out of bed with the same enthusiasm or as early as I did even just five years ago, I am grateful that ultimately, I am able to start my day with the same drive toward living into a solution on our never-ending path toward true self.

3 thoughts on “Waking up Sober, Waking up with Cancer

  1. Reading about your morning routine is very encouraging to me. I have never been a morning person: can I ask – what time do you usually get up? Are you doing this routine before sunrise?

    • I have come to realize I am much less of an early riser than I used to be! There is an early morning group that gets together at 6:30 AM at a local coffee place and I have just given up on getting myself together enough to attend.

      I generally find that I am up by 7:00 AM or a bit before – it really has to do with when the sun comes up – with retirement, that is my alarm clock. I do this routine whenever I get up. I find that the important part for me is just the regularity of doing it. This past summer I was working in Peru for a couple of months and my schedule was irregular, and some days I was doing my routine even in the evenings, or midday. For me, morning works as it is a good way to start the day. I was having a conversation with someone recently on morning pages specifically, who noted that she found them best when she did them right before going to bed. For me, that could be difficult as I am generally half asleep by that point and would not have the energy for the routine.

      Best in whatever you do. . .

      • Thank you. I agree with you about the value of routine, whenever it fits best. I like the idea about morning pages – I want to give that a. try sometime. Grace and peace to you.

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