In honor of Recovery Month, we asked you to send us your stories about the impact community, nutrition or environment has had on your life since you put down substances and picked up life. Winners are not only receiving copies of our book, The Miracle Morning for Addiction Recovery, but are also being published here on the site.

This week we have Mike Mather. 

After 30 years of alcoholism, the prelude to the sober journey was quite unglamorous—with two-and-a-half years of relapsing, valium, AA and church in a vicious, delicious and delirious cycle.

Then the penny dropped.

Completely out of the blue I realized that I had to do 90 meetings in 90 days like they had been telling me from the beginning, and start praying and meditating. I shipped myself off to a Buddhist Centre that I accidentally found out about and went to AA meetings every day.

My demented mother had been my career for the year that passed since Dad had died. I now began to take the helm, and I enrolled in a Diploma of Business too.

Having devoured mountains of books on nutrition and alternative health practices, I began to implement some nutritional supplementation along with mindful eating.

That was week one.

For a while, I believed I had discovered a secret that only a few would ever know. My sobriety was going to be different, special, unusually brilliant. I know now I’m more than a little bipolar, and also prone to delusions of grandeur.

I have remained a strict vegetarian now for 10 years.

Having successfully completed the Diploma of Business, I plowed heavily into service work at AA. Then last year I had a calling to study again and I am enrolled in a Bachelor of Environmental Science degree. I had mediocre success in the first year and am currently taking a break and writing about alcoholism and Buddhism on my website and podcast.

My recovering alcoholic girlfriend, Heather, just turned 65 and is two weeks short of her first academic accreditation: Associate Degree of Arts. We sometimes don’t see eye to eye because she is a Zen student and I am Tibetan. C’est la vie!

We still don’t know what to do when we grow up. She seems to have a leaning towards Ayurvedic traditions maybe, but I believe that I was born to be an author.

Since reading The Miracle Morning for Addiction Recovery, I wake up and brush my teeth at 5 am each day (nearly) and the results are astounding so far as my blogging and podcasting work is concerned. My girlfriend has been an early morning yogini for years though.

We still are frequent meeting goers. We are mindful of our environmental impact and eat very nutritionally. If I could give advice to newcomers to recovery, I would definitely say that looking after the mind and body is paramount to success.