Looking Inside For My Quiet Place
Looking Inside For My Quiet Place
Today I had to really search for the quiet place within. I want to assure you, I still lose my shit sometimes, even at 2 years 10 months sober. The only difference between today, and early sobriety is, I’ve learned some tools that help.
For the past (almost) 2 months I’ve been filling in as temporary supervisor at my job. It is a role that comes with a lot of responsibility, and a little more physical labor than I usually do. It is also mentally draining.
I’ve been feeling more and more burnt out as each day passes, but today it hit critical mass. I finally listened to that inner voice that said “You need an extra day off or you’re not going to make it”. So, Monday will be that day.
But, in the meantime, I find ways to cope when I get overwhelmed. Considering a recent conversation, I’d like to share the tools I use to help others in recovery.
Every morning I start with meditation. Now, I don’t do it well, or for very long because I can’t sit still for long. But, any form helps.
When I get up in the morning, I make coffee, and when that is ready I take it outside. I get up at 6 a.m. for work, so it’s usually quiet at that time. I smoke my cig and I try to get quiet. Clear my head. Sometimes I have to pull it back in, but I at least have a couple of minutes of no head noise.
This is the time where I set up that quiet place within myself. The best that I can describe it is, I focus on the quiet around me, and try to set up a place inside of me to hold that quiet.
Then, I say a prayer asking my Higher Power for direction during the day, and say thanks for another day of sobriety. And then the games begin.
What I mean here is, I stay in tune with myself. I try to stay where my feet are, present in the moment. When I start to slip, I check in with myself. What is going on around me? Am I trying to control someone or something? Am I worrying over nothing?
This part was not an overnight matter. I didn’t suddenly wake up one day and start being aware of my emotions. It took a lot of time, and a lot of practice. At least a year.
But the more I practice, the easier it becomes. And, the easier it is to recognize when I’ve fallen off the Beam between me and my Higher Power.
After I recognize I am starting to lose my shit, and am on the verge of saying something I’m going to have to make amends for later, I pray. Sometimes this takes effort because I’m so far into myself that my ego and self-will has taken back over. And sometimes I’m just in that kind of place, feeling far away from my Higher Power.
One thing I have learned is, do it anyway. Doesn’t matter if I feel far away or not, I still pray. And it always helps.
Once I’ve said my little prayer, I close my eyes and turn inward. Again, this takes practice. Sometimes I have to search for a few seconds to find it. But eventually I am able to find that quiet place inside that I set up that morning.
Sometimes I visualize my porch, and the trees surrounding my house. Sometimes I just listen for the quiet. And sometimes it’s a little blue light in the center of my chest that I can only see when I close my eyes.
The point is though, I look/ feel around for the quiet. Once I find it, I find my center, and I feel like a weight is lifted off my shoulders.
As I’ve said, this whole process took me at least a year to learn, and put into daily practice. It took a lot of practice, some failing/ blowing up on someone, but eventually it became easier.
The point is, don’t give up. If you can’t find that quiet place, don’t stop looking for it. It is there, I promise. In this chaotic world, it’s hard to find quiet anywhere, let alone inside. But, with some effort, and a lot of practice, it can be found. Keep looking.
Originally published November 8, 2016 – medium.com