Originally posted June 4, 2012
I received a phone call one Friday afternoon from a friend in my recovery program whom I met at the Journey of Hope Retreat #16. With his permission, I am able to use his first name, Mike and discuss what we discussed over the phone. Thanks to him, I was able to come up with this particular blog topic I titled “Phone Muscles.”
During our conversation, Mike mentioned he was making the call, not because he was in danger of acting out or in a bad place, but because he needed to get back to making daily recovery-related phone calls and strengthen what he called his “phone muscles.” What an awesome yet simple term to use. I have always commented to my sponsees that they need to make at least one recovery-related phone call every day and if they cannot actually speak to someone, then at a minimum they need to leave three detailed check-in voicemails with their accountability partners. However, until my conversation with Mike, I didn’t have a good term for the practice of making daily phone calls. Now, I do!
As a former professional athlete (I jest) I am accustomed to a daily workout regimen to maintain my performance. If I don’t train my muscles daily, then I won’t get stronger and my overall performance will drop. Furthermore, there is no way I could just get into the gym and bench 405-lb without having trained on a daily basis, I would get crushed! I have to start slowly, one work out at a time, one day at a time and build up to that amount of weight! Such is the case with recovery. If we don’t practice our recovery tools on a daily basis, we will not benefit from those tools. We will not train ourselves to use the tools when the time comes; when we most desperately need it!
It begins with small increments in recovery; to try to do everything all at once can seem like a monumental task. Make one phone call a day when you are healthy, the odds are, if you have been doing this regularly and establishing good friendships in recovery, you will be able to make that phone call when you are struggling! Although the phone may seem like it weighs 1,000 pounds, your “phone muscles” will have trained well enough to be able to lift that weight without hesitation or strain. However, if you neglect “phone muscles” then the 1,000-lb telephone will crush you. You won’t be able to make that phone call you desperately need to make. Then, you can begin incorporating more tools in your daily recovery regimen. The phone is only one tool of many that can be implemented on a daily basis. Other tools such as journaling, prayer and meditation, recovery reading, internet filters, and such will be discussed in later blogs, but it is possible to get to a point where you are incorporating all of these tools on a daily basis, one day at a time!
Take what you like a leave the rest.