Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Routine - The Bane and Blessing of Recovery

When you were steeped in your addictive behavior you had routines. You may not have recognized them as routines, but they were. You traveled certain routes, visited certain places, hung out with certain people and behaved in certain ways that were predictable...habitual, if you will. These habits helped to sustain your addiction. There was a regularity, a familiarity to the routine that allowed you not to think about what you were doing so you could just do it.

Then you hit bottom (except for those still headed to the bottom).

Once you enter recovery one of the most important things you can do is develop a whole new routine. In fact, if you fail to develop a whole new routine you will most certainly fail at recovery. I can say that with certainty because we are creatures of habit. We are drawn to routine and our old addictive routine will call us back if it has not been replaced by a new routine.

That's one reason why those who are just entering recovery are encouraged to attend a meeting every single day for at least 30 days. If you establish the routine of attending a meeting every day your old routine will be crowded out. If you develop a new group of friends you won't have time for your old group of friends. When you anchor yourself in a new routine of recovery your old routine of addiction is less likely to find a way back into your life.

This is for certain. You are a creature of habit that will gravitate toward routine just as sure as water runs downhill. If you're not intentional about establishing a new routine your old routine will return.

If you don't have a new routine yet, start today. If you do have a new routine, stick with it.

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