Take What You Need…and Rest

I had to giggle as I was reading comments on my blog recently and one reader mis-read my use of the typical AA quote of “Take what you need and leave the rest” as the above – “Take what you need and rest.” The more I read the comment, the more I had an a-ha moment, hence this post.

Lately, I have actually been heeding more to the latter as I tend to finally recognize the self-care that I need and deserve. I’m careful lately – though leading a busy life, I am careful not to get TOO busy. TOO busy leads to lack of quiet time for myself which can sometimes result in less than stellar results as I have learned. I need order in my day. After over 6 weeks, my 5:30 AM gym class is now a habit – one that I need to start off my day. The hour when I get home is what I use for recovery and spiritual reading. I rely on that time to ask my Higher Power to help me stay sober during the day. That time is full of learning and self-discovery. From there, my meeting at 8 AM brings me the necessary fellowship and face to face support. Hearing stories of “those like me” is comforting, encouraging and enlightening.

From there, the real world kicks in. There’s this thing called *work* that must be dealt with and I have to throw myself into the day as a career woman. What I am learning is to continue my self-care during the workday. I am much better about minimizing the stress and anxiety that go hand in hand with the responsibilities of my job. The work will always be there tomorrow, so instead of driving full force into later hours, I’m learning to stop my day at a reasonable hour and pick it back up tomorrow.

Because of my new wakeup time of 5 AM, I’ve figured out that an earlier bedtime is a must. As much as I am into the book I am reading or hoping to see another episode of whatever show I’m dying to see, I shut it down no later than 11 PM, and usually earlier. It’s important that I eliminate caffeine and/or sugar after 8 PM or so – otherwise, my body clock will keep on ticking long after it needs to shut down.

Weekends are a bit of a different animal; I’m able to completely SLEEP IN most Saturdays, and on Sundays, I don’t need to wake up until 7 AM. This helps keep me much more on schedule during the week – who woulda thunk that the old wives’ tale about going to bed/waking up at approximately the same hour each day helps. It really does help. My favorite new word – naps. When I need a nap, if time and circumstances permit, I take one. Sometimes I wonder why I seem to just be SO tired all the time. I haven’t really figured out the “whys” but I have come to realize that all I can do is take care of ME.

I still believe in the adage of taking what you need and leaving the rest. There are many, many positives about the AA program, but also some “unanswered questions.” The positives far outweigh the negatives, and as I come to progress on a day by day basis, I learn more and more about the “steps” and the “program.” It’s important to me to continue to utilize ALL of my tools in addition to my morning AA meeting – this online forum, the 100 day challenge, email buddies, etc. Tonight I am going to a Women’s Only meeting that has come highly recommended. I’m lucky in that I’m meeting a few of the ladies from my morning meeting in the parking lot so that I don’t have to walk in by myself, especially comforting since I have been told it is a small meeting. But I also now have a new motto – “Take what you need and rest.”

Bottom line – be good to yourselves. Talk to yourselves in a positive way, just as you talk to others. Do small things for others because these will help you feel good about yourselves. Reach out to someone who might need your encouragement. Exercise both your physical muscles and your “sober” muscles. And rest when you can.


4 thoughts on “Take What You Need…and Rest

  1. WOW. You’re getting it all so fast–took me a long time to realize that, uh, instead of go-go-going and forcing myself to do-do-do, what I really needed was to Turn It Off and go to bed. The last paragraph sums it up so nicely. You’re on your way, and it’s encouraging for me to read and learn from you already! xx

    • Sadly, this ain’t my first rodeo! I feel like I’ve been “trying to quit” for quite some time now. But until I was fully ready it was never going to take hold. I often wonder if I’m fully ready now. Whether I am or not, I rely on my progress and not perfection. As long as I am *doing something* then I’m making progress. Thanks for stopping by!!!

  2. Yeah all that running around and craziness just keeps us from being in our head with our thoughts. .but it’s what us humans do right. Maybe it’s just us addicted humans that are being brave and going sober that need to ensure we’re not filling up the space left by our substance with lots of other stuff… in order to really ‘recover’ we need to learn to be still. Still a work in progress for me. xxx

  3. I got dizzy reading that post…lol. I think you are wise to slow things down a bit, and to see that being too busy can be a detriment not only to your overall health (physical, mental, emotional), but also to your recovery. There is something to be said about having that stillness, that quiet, that not-being-busy time. It was scary for me at first – couldn’t do it. Had to be busy always. It took me quite a while to get to a point where now I like the stillness. I like the quiet. I like taking out time in my own busy day and just not be busy, even for 30 seconds. And it recharges me instantly. So of course things like just staring at the sky at night on my way home, or meditating or sitting in my car for a minute before exiting all make a big difference in my day.

    And yes, use the tools you have! Whatever they are, use them. They are there as a gift. Do what you need to do with them. And it sounds like you are opening your mind and your heart at the same time.


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