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25 Years of Recovery: Key Lessons Learned

Here are some lessons I can pass on to you after 25 years of recovery. For me it's been important to nurture the lessons I've learned. In fact I am reminded over and over again that the key lessons are relatively consistent. What changes is me and so I need to be reminded time and time again of the lessons that deliver.

Susan Raphel finding peace coloring

Here is a sample of key lessons;

Grounding through the 5 senses.

What I have learned about grounding through sight, smell, taste, hearing & touch is that it calms me right down.

Being present in the here & now by focussing on 1 or more senses is self soothing.

A couple of examples of grounding through the senses are; colouring like the picture of me in this post or petting our neighbours dog, Nibs who was visiting today. It's my job to make myself happy and no one else's.

A good night’s sleep is the best medicine.

In his bestselling book, “7 Wellness Rituals”, Dr. Dwight Chapin, Team Chiropractor for the Toronto Argonauts has sleep as #1.

Getting a good night’s sleep is a gift of my recovery. I love leaving time to wind down before sleep. Sleepytime Tea & Lavender Oil help me wind down.

I prioritize getting a good night’s sleep. 😴

Susan Raphael praying celebrating 25 years of sobriety

An ongoing lesson I’ve learned in recovery & beyond is the importance of feeling safe, secure & supported.

For every individual this is unique. I cultivate relationships that foster a sense of safety & security & where I feel supported.

During the pandemic where all of us experienced isolation & apartness, my need for consistency became even more essential.

The consistency with which I show up for others & they show up for me is something I continue to evaluate & strive for.

Susan Raphael sitting in a chair reading
Another important lesson I’ve learned in recovery & beyond is cultivating self-compassion.

A lot of us grew up learning to be kinder to others than to ourselves.

Kristen Neff, leading expert on self compassion notes that self-compassion is one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal to create health & happiness.

Self-compassion motivates us to achieve our goals, cope with adversity, take responsibility for our actions, and care for others in a sustainable way.

Susan Raphael smiling being happy in sobriety
The lesson I never underestimate is how having an attitude of gratitude changes me.

I have so much to be grateful for.

At night as I'm falling asleep I think about what I'm grateful for & I count the wins I've had that day;

  • Things I'm proud of

  • Patterns I'm shifting

  • Someone I've helped

  • Daily moments of joy

Gratitude is gold 💛.

Pink and purple

The lesson that's taken me the longest to learn is that it's my job to make myself happy and no one else's. My peace of mind is my responsibility and it can't be conditional on someone or something else. Let that sink in.

Thank you for letting me share my recovery with you!



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