No matter how far down the road to recovery I go, I find myself from time to time, in a hole. Or, I notice that I am acting out in behaviors that are unhelpful to me. When these things become apparent to me I nearly always discover it’s because my balance is off.
If I fix my balance, then I fix the problem.
Let me explain.
All of us have a metaphorical ‘plate’ that holds our needs. That plate is sectioned into parts that contain our needs; which we go about everyday trying to fill. Just as we need a balanced diet to have a healthy body, we need a balanced ‘needs’ plate for a healthy soul. Our plates are usually divided up into areas like work, play, rest, challenges, connection, growth etc. They are then subdivided, for example: under ‘connection’ you may have time with family, time alone, time with friends etc. Under ‘growth’ you might have 12-step meetings, meditation, yoga, study etc.
Our daily challenge is to balance these needs as our lives evolve and grow. Because here’s the snag. What I need today may not be what I need tomorrow. I may think I know what my needs are, only to realize they have completely changed without me noticing. So, I have to set about re-balancing.
If you feel frustrated, lonely, scared, angry pissed off, resentful, jealous, exhausted, drained, unmotivated, bored, bitter, disorganized, etc., etc. then I’m going to suggest the answer to all of that, is to check your balance.
Too much work drains your emotional resources, you need time to rest, relax and connect with your family. Too much time at home with your family and you need to find something to stimulate your brain; travelling too much and isolated from your support network means more time with friends; feeling sluggish and unmotivated you need more fresh air and exercise and so it goes on.
These seem like trite simple responses to complicated problems and complex problems do require more work. However, I have found if I check my balance, re-calibrate and meet my needs, the improvement in how I feel is often dramatic and drastic. If I then need to do more in depth work on myself, then I am in a much better position to do so.
In my life I have been very unbalanced and paid the price for it. I’ve been a workaholic and consequently suffered burn out. I had to re-learn how to be spontaneous and to not feel guilty about relaxing. I believed I had to be productive every single second, I didn’t realize I was more productive once I’d re-charged my batteries. I’ve also isolated myself and realized I need to say yes to socializing more and connect with people who fill my cup.
So I would suggest if you are feeling out of sorts or, uncomfortable in your own skin, that the first thing you pay attention to is your balance (‘needs’ plate). Can you identify what you have been neglecting? How can you fulfill that need in the context of your present circumstances? If you feel some resistance that is usually a good indication that your on the right track!
If you are asking the universe for a solution, the answer could be staring you in the face. Whatever the question you have right now – balance is always the answer.
Veronica Valli is the author of Why You Drink and How to Stop: Journey to Freedom and Get Sober, Get Free available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iTunes. With over 16 years of continuous sobriety she is a life-coach, blogger and recovery advocate.Visit Veronica’s blog at: http://veronicavalli.com. You can follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/VeronicaValli and check out her FB page: https://www.facebook.com/addictionexpert