In AA we hear the phrase “keep it green” quite often. It is an important concept to maintain a beginners mind and remember where we came from no matter how long we’ve been sober for. The great thing is there are a lot of ways that you can keep it green on a daily basis in recovery.
For starters, remain teachable. It is important to remember that we are all just one drink away from a relapse and that no one “has it”. We need to attend meetings regularly to stay on the recovery path and not stray from what it is that is keeping us sober. It does not matter if you have 20 years or 20 days, we are all susceptible to the cunning, baffling disease.
Attend beginners meetings. Beginners meetings are for everyone, despite what the title suggests. They bring us back to the first three steps and remind us that we are alcoholics. We need to do a Step One every day and never forget.
Continue to read recovery material. Whether it is daily readings or new material you find at a meeting, absorbing new material can help you maintain your sobriety but also keep it fresh.
Get a commitment! Commitments are great for a lot of reasons. They keep you connected to your group but also give you a chance to speak to more people about recovery and life in general. Speaking in meetings is also great and telling your journey in sobriety brings your past to the forefront but also helps you focus in on where you are now.
Keep a gratitude journal. Remaining grateful for where you are and what you have obtained, whether is spiritually, physically or materially can help you remember the good in your life and increase positivity. It is very easy to take things for granted, sobriety included. This way you can again remember where you came from and how much there is to be grateful for.
Staying green is not just a St. Patrick’s Day practice. It is advice that has been given in the rooms of AA for years. Being able to look back without staring at our past is an art that is only learned though practice. Keep it simple and stay on the recovery path without forgetting how far you’ve come. Celebrate the victories and the milestones but try not to become complacent and rest on your laurels.
Meet the Author:
Jenn Dunleavy, Alumni Relations Coordinator