Physical Recovery from Alcoholism

Discussions related to 12 Step Recovery and Treatment
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Physical Recovery from Alcoholism

Postby Tim » Sun Dec 04, 2005 6:22 pm

When I was actively drinking, I was often ill with vodka flu (the AA vaccine works well to prevent this), and frequently resided in the sub-basement of the house of physical fitness. Stopping drinking was a good start to restore my health. But early in recovery I decided to do something active to promote good health in sobriety. I began to eat nutritious food, get appropriate rest and exercise regularly.

About a year after I got sober I bought a really nice Tunturi indoor exercise bike, with a whisper-quiet magnetic belt , high-end comfort seat, and a digital readout that recorded time and mileage ridden. I even set it up with a reading rack to read a newspaper, magazine or book while exercising. I decided that I would try to ride (figuratively speaking) all the way around the U.S. (maybe some grandiose thinking, but then I was still in my early years of recovery).

I exercised several days a week on the bike, adding stretching for flexibility and weight-lifting for muscle and bone strength. Each day I rode, I recorded my mileage on a log sheet. One day at a time it has added up. And now, seven and a half years later, I've ridden the entire perimeter of the United States, over 11,000 miles.

I plan to continue exercising because the resulting benefits to my physical and mental health have been so positive over the years. I hear many alcoholics in meetings talk about the importance of spiritual recovery--and that is essential; and they share about mental recovery from alcoholism--that, too, is a key component. But to my mind, physical recovery is an often-neglected element of recovery.

Nowadays, with ever-advancing age, which adds up one day at a time, I am beginning to feel the deep, interior tectonic shifts and rumblings of changes in my body. In recovery, I can be fully aware of this. Medical and dental checkups seldom end with the cheery message "Every day, in every way, you're getting better and better."

But I am growing younger in spirit, and God continues his work of "restoring what the locusts have eaten." I used to be more like the alcoholic in the old joke who didn't know what he wanted, but knew he wanted a lot of it. I had the two other diseases connected with alcoholism, "More" and "Right Now". These days, I am slowly learning (the time it takes to make progress indirectly helps to teach patience) to be content with my circumstances and am much less restless, irritable and discontent.

Make of this what you will.

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Physical health well-briety

Postby Dallas » Sun Dec 04, 2005 8:13 pm


Thanks for sharing on such an important topic!!! Physical health and fitness is something that is too often neglected by many people that I’ve met in recovery. And, they wonder “why do I feel so bad?â€

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Postby JR » Mon Dec 05, 2005 12:17 am

"restoring what the locusts have eaten" that is quite the metaphor! My sponsor actually sent me an e-mail with that very quote in it. I don't think I've heard it in my life and yet now I've heard it twice in one month. Must be biblical, but I'm not sure what the reference is. I guess while we were "shivering denizens of alcohols mad realm" our body, mind and spirit were being chowed down by a swarm of locusts - not a pretty picture.

I kind of wish Bill W. would have followed his own advice in this area, he might have enjoyed better health, less depression and been around longer as well. We stopped alcohol and now you want us to quit smoking, gluttony and sloth too??!! I'm kind of a fanatic in this area, so I shouldn't get started. Even when I was drinking I still exercised so that I could drink and not get fat, how sick is that.

Anyway, our own Gma has proven that we must take care of our bodies too. I'm trying to do better in this area as well. I frequently forget to feed myself and I know I drink too much coffee. But, on the plus side I don't smoke, I do exercise and I try to get regular sleep when my schedule allows it. Most of the time I enjoy good health, but have been ill twice in the last 3 and 1/2 months since I stopped drinking which is unusual for me. I'll just keep trying.

Love Each Day,


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Postby Tim » Wed Dec 07, 2005 1:47 am

You're right, JR, the quote is biblical, from the prophet Joel. I've run into it a few times in recovery, the last time in a Grapevine magazine article. It is an apt metaphor.

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