Recovery in Troubled Times

So many folks in my recovery community are having a hard time with current political events. How do we stay sober while the world seems to be falling apart? The answer is simple, and complicated. The simple part is to keep doing the things that keep you sober in good times: keeping it in the day, giving the worry to your Higher Power, and making copious gratitude lists.

Harder right now, perhaps for those of us in recovery, the  more complicated part is not giving in to the societal disease of power and indifference that we see around us.

It helps me, as a scholar of people, war, and human rights (and, weirdly, alcohol), to remember that countless people went through terrible times before in human history. The AA Big Book talks about World War II soldiers who went through the war in recovery; their stories can be inspirational. But on a more macro level, human history has always been full of troubled times: wars, famines, plagues—and we’ve made it through.

Celebrate small victories; I can’t do much about foreign policy right now other than educate those in my circle on how it relates to the USA’s history, and write. So at times like these, its important to celebrate small victories. I managed, after weeks of working at it, to take our household garbage down to just one can (bin for my Brits!); a lot of work on compost, traditional recycling, and my recycled paper art made that happen. Calling wiser friends who may be able to offer perspective, staying tight with your sober people, and being grateful for the things we can do, even if it’s just raise awareness, stay sober, or donate a few dollars (or pounds) to a cause we love. Hold the hand (or paw!) of someone you love. These things matter.

In fact, the simple act of being grateful for what we do have, saying a prayer, making a gratitude list, calling an old friend, or spending some time in nature, is itself a form of resistance. It is looking the darkness in the eye and saying, as Arya Stark said to Death: NOT TODAY!

I was listening to the Tom Waits song “Hold On” just now, and sometimes, just holding on is enough.

We’ll get through this together. One day at a time.

May you be peaceful, may you love, and may you find grace today.

Namaste, Darlings.

—Maggie

When the Vet Prescribed More Yoga for the Hooman

My computer, the one that works because of tech support and mindful breathing, has just reminded me that I need to do a yoga video. Funny thing about that: I was just going to blog about how I need to do more yoga. Okay, universe. I get it. I’ll do it after my coffee break with my friend, who is a hooman nurse.

Mentioning excellent medical care, my dog’s veterinarian, Dr. Zen-Fabulous (literally nothing fazes this woman) is awesome. I love her, her staff, and the world map of doggies in Mister Winnie’s favorite examining room. This is the only place in the whole world where my little fur-diva will allow his toenails to be clipped. She’s just the best vet ever.

So when Mister Winnie developed anxiety, he got a fancy new pheromone collar that makes him feel happy. But she also prescribed yoga. Not yoga for him, but more yoga for ME.

Now, I should mention that my dog’s vet is also my friend, and I consider her to be quite wise, (even though she consistently refuses to vote for MY favorite candidates for office…the NERVE…haha! ;). Dr. Zen-Fabulous knows I do yoga, and that it helps my anxiety.

And my dog, in all his fluffy empathetic adorableness, will apparently benefit from my doing more yoga too.

Meds AND mindfulness: a winning combo.

Namaste, Darlings!

And fellow hoomans, our fur babies have super-powers of emotional empathy—so take advantage of good advice from the vet.

🐾💜 🧘‍♀️

Maggie Yancey Happy Winnie

Simple Pleasures

Maggie Yancey Winnie Dog Tennis Ball

People are always talking about wanting to be the person their dog thinks they already are. But my dog has seen me at rock bottom, sat on my lap while I cried. He knows me. So instead, I’d like to work on being as happy with simple things as my beloved fluff ball is. Mister Winnie, right here, with a tennis ball on a beach towel–that’s my happiness life goal. To simply be.

Namaste, Darlings!