You are enough absolutely does not mean that you never need help. When you know you are enough, it’s easier to ask for help. It’s easier to admit your weaknesses. You know that your imperfections and your difficulties don’t reflect on your worth, because you are already enough, just as you are.
For me, staying sober is all about being a man of integrity and sound moral character. Throughout my journey, I have learned so many things from my inpatient treatment, my therapy and my fellowship. The main reason I started MyRecoveryArmor.com is to try and give others some armor of their own. I realize that inpatient treatment and therapy is not accessible for everyone. I feel that GOD wants me to share the knowledge I have gained and try and help others. "TO KEEP IT YOU HAVE TO GIVE IT AWAY"
I AM ENOUGH AND SO ARE YOU!
For myself, this is one of the enemies most powerful weapons. I struggled with childhood attachment issues, I was abandoned and neglected. I felt alone often. I was a small kid and was picked on about that. This created my negative self image. I did not feel wanted or safe by my family or friends. Through my program, I am understanding that none of my beliefs about myself were true and that I am enough. I am loved by my wife and family for who I am. I also do daily affirmation meditation to help improve my image of myself. I am grateful for who I am.
I AM A CHILD OF GOD
It took me about 2-3 months to start to distance myself from guilt and shame. I did not understand that if I worked hard at my program, the guilt and shame would start to lessen it's grip on me. It definitely did. I never understood that this would happen.
The time away from my addiction and my intense program was starting to change the way I felt about myself. I began to believe that GOD was working inside me and that I was changing. As the guilt and shame started to diminish I was able to gain some traction and get serious about my recovery.
I AM HEALING
Meetings meetings meetings and more meetings, that’s what works for me. This is where the action is. In the beginning of my recovery it was my only safe place. A place where I never felt judged and that I always belonged. It creates fellowship. It 's a place where I can talk about anything and know there is someone listening to me that understands and cares. The fellowship in these meetings allow me to expose the light on my darkness by telling someone. I was never able to do this before. Only God and myself knew what I did. I have learned in my recovery that secrets make me sick. I also create a family-like bond with the people in my meetings. I am not judged. Similar struggles are shared . I can share openly and develop relationships outside of the meetings which is very valuable. Sharing in meetings is an important part of the healing process. I am able to express my real emotions. I share in five meetings a week. I was advised to attend several meetings for the first six months to one year, and two core meetings that I should never miss. I have faith that everything else in my life will be taken care of if I keep sobriety and recovery first in my life.
I AM EQUAL
One of the strongest pieces of armor that I have is my fellowship. These are people that I can contact anytime. I have met many remarkable people in my meetings. I realized these people don’t judge me and I don’t judge them. Whether it’s a phone call about a really bad day or an email or text just to chat for a few, they can help you and you can help them. Just reaching out for no other reason then to just say, " Hello! How is your day going?". Either way it’s an important part of being unselfish which is a necessity of recovery. I look forward to the conversations I have with the people I fellowship with every day as a part of recovery. You may find out that your friends change from those you had before. In recovery I made many new friends. I simply try to remember that I’m not here to fix anyone, I’m here to listen and that goes for them as well. I always feel much better after fellowshipping because I am reminded that I am not alone
I AM ACCEPTED
Therapy is another important piece of armor for me. I see a therapist weekly. Therapists have a lot of knowledge to share. Currently I am working on my childhood attachment issues, neglect and trauma. EMDR and CBT therapy have been the most helpful. I see a Christian therapist which works well with my belief in my HIGHER POWER. There is much discussion about the words in the Bible and "Thy Will Not Mine". I take a journal to take notes during and after the meeting so I can revisit throughout the week
I AM WILLING
Mindfulness is something I discovered in Arizona while I was in treatment. It was and still is a part of my daily routine. It gives me a set time to clear my mind, practice deep breathing, and get out of my head for a little while. It is also the time I talk to God. There are many different types of meditation. The two I prefer are guided meditations and affirmations. I tried several before figuring out what worked for me. I do my meditation in the morning when my mind is the least cluttered and tight. I carry that calm slowness with me for several hours afterwards. Almost all of the people that I’ve met with long-term sobriety seem to have somehow slowed themselves down. They are very calm and relaxed people. I get that same effect from meditation. It helps keep me balanced. Not too high and not too low.
I AM AT PEACE
The daily check-in for me (step 10) is at the end of my day. It’s a great time for me to evaluate my character defects and how I do each day. I’m not looking for perfection, I’m looking for improvement. Did I experience resentment today? Did I have any fear? Was I inconsiderate or selfish? What was I grateful for today? This is simply a one page form that I created based on my character defects from step four of the 12 steps. It’s very important for me to be completely honest with myself. This would not be an effective piece of my armor if I didn’t write down my real, true feelings for that day. It’s also a good idea for me to go back and read to see if there are any consistent patterns of negative behavior so that I can address them and pray to God for His guidance
Today I will put in my Daily Check in 5 things I am grateful for....
I AM AWARE
Journaling was something that was difficult for me at first and seems to be difficult for many of the people I have met in recovery. I think it’s important to develop an individualized style of journaling. Some people I have spoken with write a lot and add drawings and quotes while others are as simple as bullet points. The length of writing is not important. It takes me a few minutes to start writing, but once I get started it seems to just flow. I just do a paragraph or two about what is on my mind and what am I feeling. Do I feel resentment or gratitude? By writing it down it helps me process my emotions and understand them better.
I AM EXPRESSING
I engage in daily prayer typically after my meditation in the morning. It’s my time with God to be thankful and to also ask for guidance in areas that need improvement. Something I learned along my path of recovery is to do as much listening to God as you do talking to God. This is very different for me, but as I do more and more listening it has become very powerful. God speaks to me through my subconsciousness. I also like to read a few of my own prayers that I wrote in step 11. This is very helpful. I find that if I read a line and stop and think for a few seconds about how this works in my life and in my recovery, it seems to stick with me more throughout the day. I find that reading my own prayers makes it more personal and from the heart.
I AM OBEDIENT
Reading is one of the most effective ways to fight triggers from the enemy. There is a lot of reading material to help. I have listed some on this site. There are books specific to each addiction similar to the AA book and the big book or blue book. These books offer hope and solutions that direct my mind from the bad to the good quickly. Being sober helps me remember a quote from one of my counselors , "Are you trying not to act out or are you trying to stay sober?" You have to be intentional about what you feed your mind. Ultimately, for me, the Bible is the most important reading of my day . Typically, I read my Bible at night as it refreshes my mind on what God's plan is for me and how I am supposed to act. The shield of armor is the word of God and it is the most powerful weapon I have in my fight against my addiction
I AM SHIFTING MY MIND
Identifying and working to improve my character defects is a very big part of my program. I am starting to be aware throughout the day of opportunities to improve on this. I focus on my top 5 character defects from my step 4 and look for times when I need to improve on these behaviors. I also make note of this in my daily check-in.
I AM GRATEFUL
While I continue to work my step 12, I realize that to keep my sobriety, I have to give it away. Things that I have discovered along my journey in recovery, I want to share with others in hopes that it will help them in some way. I pray this website is valuable to those who read it and that they gain inspiration and knowledge to start and maintain their own sobriety. The treatment facility that I went to had 21 employees 19 of them had been through treatment there. For me I just have to be around it. To keep it you have to give it away.
I AM GIVING
Expressing my emotions or "Living out loud" is also another part of my armor. This was always a problem in the past for me. Buy living out loud I have learned to carry less resentment and reduce my fear.
I AM FEARLESS
Multi tasking creates anxiety for me. I try to be aware of this each day and do one thing at a time as much as possible.
I AM PATIENT
In conclusion, I just want to say that it's not going to be easy, but anything worth having never is. If you want to be sober, you can be. It just takes changing almost everything in your life and daily routines. I have to feed my heart, mind, and soul with good instead of bad. I have to make it more important then my job, my friends, and my family because without sobriety, I will not have those things. This is a one day at a time journey, but with the tools/armor that I use, I am hopeful that I can now live a calm, humble, and grateful life. This site is part of my 12th step along with a meeting that I started. To keep it , you have to give it away. I truly believe that being around it and helping others in some way will lead to a more successful recovery for me. I will be updating this site weekly and when I find something that may help you or me I will add it. We all have to decide what works for ourselves. May GOD be with you and always remember you are worth it.
My name is Bryan and I AM ENOUGH....