After Addiction Comes a Vacuum
For many of us, the final stages of our addictive behavior found us unable to incorporate any real structure into our daily lives. Very little about our lifestyle and relationships resembled living intentionally or with any real feeling of ownership or empowerment. Substances and compulsive behaviors drove our bus for so long that it began to be second nature for us to simply give in to the consequences of over-using and drift from one unwanted outcome to the next.
Once we began our journey into recovery and sober-living, we found that sobriety left us with a surplus of free time on our hands. This created a vacuum which needed to be filled by something else. Initially in that vacuum of time and energy, we experienced a great deal of residual anxiety as we experienced the absence of our old behaviors.
Substitute Addiction in Your Daily Routine with Positive Habits
Enter the importance of implementing routine into our lives! Not merely daily rituals and disciplines that simply fill the time and the void once occupied by addiction, but daily practices that actually benefit us as we move out of our old way of being. These routines and habits can be as simple as waking up at the same time every morning and exercising daily, or as profound as taking time for daily readings and meditations that help us manage our anxious thoughts. Any and all of these habits, when done with regularity, develop in us a sense of empowerment and confidence which tell us we can begin to trust ourselves again.
We must learn to take initiative early in our recovery to establish what our life will look like going forward. The first place to begin experiencing that confidence is by establishing routines that put us in a place of responsibility and by incorporating into our lives regular disciplines which remove the need for others to determine our future. Something as simple as making a bed everyday in early sobriety can be an empowering experience that can eventually lead us to take more initiative in more important areas of our lives.
The Power of Intentional Living
Intentional living minimizes the likelihood that I will continue to resent the people and circumstances in my life to which I’ve given far too much power over myself in the past. Routines and daily disciplines remind me that I’m able to determine my own outcomes and prevents my old victim mentality from creeping back to convince me that life is simply happening to me.
Routine and intentionality are vital to a healthy recovery plan. They should be a part of every recovering person’s daily practices. They empower me to shape the life that I want to live and to release the resentments I am tempted to hold when I give away my power. Most of all, they allow me to remember that I am able to experience the life I want to the extent that I’m willing implement them.