For me, early recovery involved detox, followed by “okay, now how do I stay quit without going crazy?” My problem was staying quit, and I believed that the solution was entirely “spiritual.” I was convinced that I needed spiritual guidance, psychological therapy, or possibly group support to overcome this diseased thinking of mine. Any mention of a physical component (like a suggestion of regular exercise) was met with the usual nodding of the head.
There was a clear separation here. My problem was mental and spiritual. I believed that, following detox, my physical body had nothing to do with recovery. At the very least, I regarded physical issues such as health, diet, and exercise to be distant, unimportant issues. They were not critical to maintaining recovery in my opinion.
As I have stayed clean in recovery, my opinion about this has slowly changed. Call it an awakening of all things physical–I now realize that my regular jogging routine probably has as much to do with how “happy” I consider myself to be as my “emotional wellbeing” or my “spiritual centeredness.” Or rather, I have come to realize that this exercise, this physical dimension – adds a whole lot more to my “spiritual centeredness and emotional wellbeing” than I used to give credit for. Regular vigorous exercise is spiritual, in addition to the regular health benefits received by it.
To some extent, we can argue over words a bit here if we want to. We could say that the physical component is just as important as any spiritual or emotional component might be. Or, we could say that our physical self is a part of our spiritual being. Either way, my revelation is that I used to minimize the physical component when it came to recovery – and now I am very much aware of what a difference it has made in the long run.