Today I’m celebrating 3 weeks sober (as well as Hubs and my sister’s birthdays, from 5000km away). I’ve never been able to celebrate one day sober much less 21 of them in a row for about 15 years. So, I’m cheers-ing both of them with a Perrier, today.

I’ve had a few awakenings while I’ve been here.

In no particular order, I present to you:

Shawn’s List of Shit He’s Learned (So Far) In Rehab (Part 1)

  1. Beautiful things grow from the darkest of places.
  2. Peace is not always quiet.
  3. Being alone is the only way to discover how to be with everyone, and everything, else.
  4. German Camels are remarkably better than Dominican Marly’s. Just because it fulfills a need doesn’t mean it’s good, or good for you.
  5. Suntanning can quickly turn into sunburning. The same rule goes for almost everything in life. Too much of anything almost always results in pain.
  6. You always have 3 chances to make something right. Before, during, and after. It gets progressively harder with each chance you don’t take.
  7. Compassion is the only thing that matters. For yourself, and all beings. If you can nail this – everything else will follow.
  8. The Serenity Prayer holds the key to happiness. Stay present, and give your precious energy only to things you have control over. If you do not have control over them, you always have control over how you react to them.
  9. Friends who send you new music are the best friends. They’re the ones who know what your soul sounds like.
  10. The only way to learn anything is by doing it wrong.
  11. When you can’t live without something, you can probably do without it.
  12. You can sail across an ocean with no set destination, and still end up exactly where you’re supposed to be.
  13. Being apart is the best way to grow closer together.
  14. Every regret you let go of can be replaced with a virtue. Virtues weigh significantly less than regret, and the less weight you are carrying, the more you can help others with their load.
  15. The obvious or easy option is almost always the wrong one.
  16. The less you want, the more you will receive. All good things that arrive without expectation are usually the most valuable.
  17. If it terrifies you, do it. If it’s uncomfortable, do it. The best views are found after the toughest climbs.
  18. Breathing is the most valuable, magical tool you own. Use it, listen to it, follow it. It’s been trying to tell you something since the day you were born.
  19. If you are sad, or angry, or depressed, I can guarantee you are in the past or the future. You do not belong there, and can never go there. Be in the present and those feelings will go away (if you struggle with this, see #18).
  20. “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy & wise” – is true. True wealth is not found in your wallet.




Written by SJ VanDee

Recovery Blogger. Sober AF. Photographer. Storyteller. Writer.


    1. LOVE that song! 😀 I’m good with the triggers, it’s okay 🙂 Thanks so much for the encouragement…the hardest part is missing my dogs LOL (well not really the hardest part…but I do really miss them!) Music is getting me through every day 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. No, I was picking up what you were laying down. The trick to the prayer is this: God grant me the Serenity to
        accept the things I cannot change (anything that is not me), the courage to change the things I can (me), and the wisdom to know the difference.

        I am the only thing on this planet I can change. I can have a positive or negative influence on things around me, but for the sake of sanity and humility, the only thing I can change is me.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Perfect. In (early) Recovery I’m still learning how to differentiate what I can and can’t control. I keep finding myself stuck on something – until I realize it’s beyond “me” – and then I can move on. One day at a time!

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Indeed, and look at the bright side; you had a LONG list and made some excellent observations for a noob. You’re on the right path. From the day you showed up at treatment, you have a choice.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. THIS: Compassion is the only thing that matters. For yourself, and all beings. If you can nail this – everything else will follow.

    Yes. I’ve learned many things from the death of my husband, but this one is the greatest. It has changed me. But I haven’t yet gotten down the “compassion for myself” part.

    Liked by 1 person

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