Health & Wellness Living in Recovery

My 2 Non-Negotiable Sobriety “Tools”

7 years ago I would have laughed in your face if you told me Yoga, Pilates, talking to people, meditating, or going on a walk would get me sober. Especially if you mentioned the popular action of wellness “gurus” across Instagram-land, drinking warm water with lemon in the morning. I only was drinking warm vodka with lemon in the morning. Yes, gross I know, but that is what happens. If you know, you know, and I hope you don’t. Read More

7 years ago I would have laughed in your face if you told me Yoga, Pilates, talking to people, meditating, or going on a walk would get me sober. Especially if you mentioned the popular action of wellness “gurus” across Instagram-land, drinking warm water with lemon in the morning. I only was drinking warm vodka with lemon in the morning. Yes, gross I know, but that is what happens. If you know, you know, and I hope you don’t.

And actually, I would not have been wrong. You see, at my “late-stage alcoholic” (call it what you want) stage, these methods would not help my addiction. Drinking a fancy mocktail would not curb the full body shakes from alcohol withdrawals, nor would a Pilates (my favorite) class curb nausea from being dope sick when the (opiate/oxycodone) pills were gone.

I needed full medical intervention including a rigorous hospital detox and Medicated Assisted Treatment to curb the impossible physiological and mental cravings once detoxed. My story is a bit extreme, maybe you relate, maybe you do not, but what is to follow is the information I believe is useful no matter where you are on your journey.

After I was stabilized medically, and while I still was taking my MAT medicine (for me, a particular medication that is known for opiates worked and saved my life from BOTH alcohol and opiates) I began to dip my feet in the waters of what I used to love…Pilates. I was an accomplished Pilates Instructor who was unable to teach for the year when I was still using but really sick. But as I began to feel better and gain my strength back, I yearned for something in my life again to give me (I did not know this is what it was at the time) dopamine. I began practicing Pilates again, which evolved into teaching again, but the self-practice is what filled me up.

It reminded me of who I was before my addiction got so severe and that I can choose to be her again, OR CHOOSE SOMETHING ELSE. I think oftentimes we feel like we need to be who we were in the past…yes Pilates is in my life, but am I the same woman from before I started using? I was 15, so heck no!

My husband became sober 6 months before I did, and rescued a puppy from someone in our recovery community. So immediately in sobriety, I had this angel of a creature to pour love into and to walk!

Ahhh the beauty of walking. Walking reintroduced me to music, because adding some earbuds/headphones with favorite songs (for me) is very therapeutic, and brings dopamine. If walking is not something available to you, maybe it is closing your eyes and taking some deep breaths into your belly, and circling your arms around to get some shoulder movement and opening. Perhaps you are someone who enjoys an intense workout, such as HIIT or running. It is different for everyone, but finding what movement you enjoy, can be the perfect escape that you have at   your fingertips. You will inherently feel proud for keeping a routine if you are newly sober, and will gain some strength in your mind and body, which I don’t know about you, but when I was newly sober confidence was not in my vocabulary.

There are a million other tools out there to help rebuild your life and that can help you avoid using. I think it is a fun, lifelong journey to keep experimenting with new activities (journaling, painting, hiking to name a few more) and take what works for you. For instance, I never got into alcohol-free wine and beer, but some people love it! I am so happy that it exists for people who find it helpful.

One on the more non-negotiable side for me is community. Community is a bit beyond a “tool”. It is most likely something that may take a little awkward work, yet it is incredibly valuable. Community is out there for you, whether you are not sober but are wondering what it is like to even consider lowering use. Community is there in new sobriety, and it is there in later sobriety. Community is also there in active use, even if you have no intention of quitting (if you have trouble finding it, I and some friends of mine will be your community…just because you use drugs does not mean you do not deserve community, period).

Incorporating movement came easy to me, but finding community was harder. I drank alone, I used alone. At least that is what it ended up being, and that is what I (thought I) wanted.

I felt so scared to start a conversation with someone…gasp, sober. This was in person, as the online community exploded after I became sober. Lean into the online sober community! There are many different groups online that hold zoom support meetings. It is perfect, you can join a large group and listen until you are comfortable, or a small group where you can meet people on a deeper level. I am offering a way to try out building community and adding some movement. I became a certified recovery coach at the beginning of the pandemic, because my passion for supporting people in this realm was growing and growing, and did not see any signs of stopping. I have spent the last 2 years coaching privately and in small groups, all via zoom. I love seeing relationships form, and being a place where people can literally talk out triggers and cravings, lessening the chance of giving in to them. I thrive on introducing a tool or a concept to a client and seeing it truly help.

I am offering a small group, one time a week coaching, and one time a week mindful movement (Pilates, just specific to each person’s body that day) for four weeks. I pride myself on being welcoming and non-intimidating, so if you have been nervous to sign up for something like this, now is the time. Or if you feel like you need a boost..a reset, My Fall Reset program is for you. The cost is low ( and if it is an amount you cannot spend, let’s talk, I will work something out for you, I would rather you join than not because of $), and you will receive takeaways that can benefit you outside of the sessions. I would love to hear what is on your “sobriety toolbox”!

Ways to sign up for the Fall Reset and/or just say “Hi” are below.

Much love,
Erin

Email: [email protected]
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/erinranta_/
If you want to meet and chat about this before committing, sign up here: https://calendly.com/soberpilatesmom/30-minute-chat