This ground-breaking daily meditation book is for people in addiction recovery who also have an emotional or psychiatric illness.
Today I Will Do One Thing is written especially for those who have a substance use disorder and a mental health disordercalled dual disorders. These daily readings construct a simple blueprint for positive problem solving, such as dealing with situations and relationships typically difficult for people with dual disorders.
Readings also: provide practical demonstrations of effectively handling emotions, mild paranoia, and other difficulties; state an affirmation and acknowledge a common problem; provide insight for positive change; and offer motivation to complete one simple, concrete goal for the day.
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This "meditation" book is different from other meditation books because dual recovery from a dual disorder is different. It needs awareness and acceptance of two problems--addiction as well as emotional or psychiatric illness--which are both similar and different, interdependent and independent.
The design of this book
By reading this book regularly, you will learn about the process of recovery from a dual disorder. But it does not tell you what to do, it simply shows you what some mythical people may have done, or thought, in the course of a mythical year. You may also think of these entries as the diary of a composite person, an Everyman or Everywoman, who is actively recovering from a dual disorder and has learned some things. The entries record this person's problems and pain as well as record the moments of insight or awareness, however limited, that make it possible to accept the problem and begin to deal with it. In a way, this book can be seen as a model, although the path it represents is only one of many paths to dual recovery. Thus, every entry will not apply to everyone's recovery--take what you like and leave the rest.
Though mythical, or composite, these feelings, experiences, and actions are based on those of real people in dual recovery.
Clearly this meditation book differs from its cousins. It is written in the first person, essentially in the present tense. It tends to be simpler and shorter than other books, more educational, more direct, and more concrete.
Each entry, which has four parts, begins with the title, an affirmation in itself. The opening paragraph then identifies the pain or problem. The following paragraph explores some awareness or insight into it, arrived at through a combination of experience, memory, and the mysterious state of grace called "Aha!" The last paragraph, usually a single brief sentence, offers a simple and concrete action step--such as might be suggested by someone who cares about you and understands your problem and your process--one that will move you in the direction of recovery, no matter how small the step.
Why are the entries set up this way? Because awareness and acknowledgment bring about acceptance. Acceptance allows for action (or appropriate inaction). Appropriate action, no matter how small, results in change and growth. This is the nature of recovery.
While perhaps many in recovery can find support in this book, those with a dual disorder will feel more at home, will be most rewarded. You need a book that accepts and understands your particular struggles.
As a person in recovery from a dual disorder, chances are that
- you are relatively new to recovery, whether from addiction or from emotional or psychiatric illness;
- you are becoming increasingly aware of your two illnesses, regardless of which came first, which is more problematic, or which you're focusing on right now;
- you are in some form of counseling or therapy (or are considering it);
- you are taking a psychiatric medication (or might consider it);
- you are working a Twelve Step program (or have some awareness of the Twelve Step fellowship, or are willing to participate in it); you are willing to apply its principles to recovery from both illnesses;
- you have a support person (or are willing to get one), whether in a Twelve Step fellowship (especially Dual Recovery Anonymous) or some other support program;
- you have a plan for recovery (or are willing to develop one with the help of a counselor, therapist, or support person);
- you are willing to reflect on your emotions and actions and make notes about what is going on in your life--since journaling yields greater insight than "thinking" alone. Moreover, it yields a written record that can reveal progress and problems.
Since the language of recovery may differ among treatment providers and kinds of recovery; here is a list of important words as they are used in this book.
- Drugs usually means street drugs, but sometimes it includes alcohol (as in the phrase "alcohol and other drugs"). Drugs, however, never refers to (prescribed) medication.
- High means intoxication by either street drugs or alcohol.
- Cravings, as used in addiction recovery; are considered a less immediate threat to abstinence or sobriety, and easier to deal with, than "urges." With urges, one is very close to having a slip.
- Group refers to a Twelve Step group, a mental health support group, or other recovery group. Usually the kind of group is specified.
- Symptoms is shorthand for psychiatric symptoms.
- Meds is short for psychiatric medication.
How to use this book
Although the style of this book is different, use it as you might use any other meditation book. Read entries according to the day of the month, regardless of where you are in recovery; check the index to find entries that speak to your day's concerns, for example, stigma, relapse, medication, or the Twelve Steps; or simply pick readings that appeal to you.
To keep in mind
The wellspring of this book is compassion. As you read it, please know that you are not alone, that there are people who can help, and that things will get better.