With New Year’s resolutions in mind, we asked a few local sober folks with different lengths of sobriety, what the words “into action” mean to them and how they apply it to their sobriety.
“Praying comes to mind—and staying connected to some kind of spirituality. I may not be the most spiritual person, but I try to touch base with God every day. Also—being of service is huge for me. Working with others has really kept me sober this whole time. I volunteer at the Van Ness House to stay close to my recovery. That has been a huge benefit.”
—Thomas Harris, sober since October, 2012.
“Into action is about taking whatever is floating in my head and activating it. It’s really that simple. It’s kind of built into my sobriety. In order for me to stay sober, I need to apply into action, otherwise, I’m just a person living in my head and that’s what I did when I wasn’t sober. I was in my head and nothing got done. I kind of gave up doing New Year’s resolutions when I got sober because I feel like if I’m into action, I’m kind of doing what I set out to do and it’s no different than any other day.”
—Tom Pardoe, sober since April, 1993.
“Now that I’m sober, I find that I’m actively reconnecting to my higher power and being helpful to my family. I volunteered to help with the cooking this past holiday, instead of sitting around and watching TV. I never did that before. Into action means I no longer isolate. I had a lot of shame when I did drugs, so I didn’t want to be around people… today I get to show up sober and I work on reconnecting with my family.”
—James Pantoja, sober since September, 2014
“Into action for me is about doing the work. It’s a constant self-reflection, being of service to others and trying to get spiritually connected. My spiritual connection has been inconsistent. I have a difficult time believing that there’s just one person in the sky. I’ve had to undo a lot of that teaching. The spiritual journey for me has been just to feel the energy that comes from being in tune with my higher power, the universe, whatever you want to call it. Part of spirituality is being able to decipher what’s good and what’s not good. I need to keep moving forward and the only way to do that is by helping others. Into action is about walking through the fear and not allowing it to dictate how I live.”
—Christina Simos, sober since June, 2005.
“I need to know why I’m doing what I’m doing before I take action. Into action is about not making excuses and getting things done, but also not punishing myself, or putting myself down and thinking that everything has to be done now. Accepting and surrendering to situations is important. Into action is a process for me–first things first. Exactly what drives the action? I find myself being really busy and not getting anything done. I try to work smarter. There’s also a question of what action is going to make me happy. Is it having a great body, having more friends, or working a great sober program? All that carries its own baggage.”
—Michael Kelly, sober since August, 2014.