on the beam

Navigating Self-Talk in Sobriety and Stroke Recovery

The Inner Battle

Have you ever found yourself at war with your own thoughts? The power of our self-talk can lead us to moments of both inner defeat and triumph, all based on the conversations we have within our minds. It’s truly remarkable how our internal dialogues can impact our emotions and actions.

In sobriety, we often talk about achieving “spiritual fitness” and staying “on the beam.” This means attending meetings, reaching out to our sponsors, and diving into literature to maintain our sobriety. But what does it mean to be “on the beam” in the context of stroke recovery? This question has been on my mind recently.

The Factors Influencing Self-Talk

Being “on the beam” is closely tied to how effectively I can control and quiet the chatter in my head. Various factors influence this internal dialogue. Have I meditated today? Attended a support group or sobriety meeting? Is an upcoming doctor’s appointment causing anxiety? Am I stressed about family matters or other concerns? These elements and countless others can shape my self-talk and inner chatter.

I recently underwent a neuropsychiatric evaluation, and the anticipation of it weighed heavily on me for months. The approach of Christmas, a typically joyous time, felt different this year. My self-pity chatter began to affect my perception of reality. Simple things, like my mom spending Christmas with my brother, hit me differently.

Perception vs. Reality

Our perception of reality is often influenced by the conversations we have with ourselves. But how different is our perception from reality? Which direction does our self-talk lean—toward positivity or negativity? Sometimes, it can feel like our thinking is impaired, especially when faced with triggers and aggravations in sobriety and stroke recovery.

So, what can we do about it? I’ve found that starting my day by getting dressed, playing Christmas music, wrapping presents, and baking helps uplift my mood. Despite a slow start to the Christmas spirit, I’m determined to ignite it. I also reached out to friends for support and received various responses, reminding me that it’s okay to feel this way sometimes.

For me, being “on the beam” signifies that place where joy and reality converge—a place I strive for in both sobriety and stroke recovery. Acknowledging the power of self-talk and its ability to shape our reality is a significant step toward personal growth and emotional well-being.