31 Aug Old Habits Die Hard, Especially for Addicts
One of the most precious things about getting sober is that we get to begin each day with a clear head. There’s something to be said for waking up in our own beds with no hangover to speak of, and remembering what we did the night before.
Getting sober isn’t exactly easy, but it’s awesome. Nevertheless, what so many of us don’t realize when we enter into recovery is that we have a LOT of bad habits. Whether they’re outwardly destructive (e.g., infidelity, stealing, etc.) or inwardly destructive (e.g., negative self-talk), we almost always get to a point in our recovery where we must deal with them.
The road gets narrower
For all you twelve steppers out there — ever hear the saying that the road gets narrower? It’s easy to bypass this statement in early recovery because it doesn’t really carry much weight. But, with time, its meaning tends to reveal itself in the form of things like buried resentment, depression, anger, and so on.
When we first get sober, it’s really easy to ride that pink cloud where we feel confident and enthusiastic about our recovery. It’s like the sobriety honeymoon phase, but ultimately, most of us begin to realize that our drinking or using was a coping mechanism to deal with much heavier stuff. And, some of this “stuff” gets buried so deep that oftentimes, it can take years before it shows up as a source of pain for us. But, when it does, we can’t ignore it for long if we want to have continued success in our recovery.
This might all sound like very black and white thinking, but it should be understood that a healthy mind is always going to reward healthy behaviors. The mind of an addict, however, isn’t a healthy one, typically speaking. At least not when we’re engaged in active addiction. So, as we get healthier, we generally find that it becomes harder and harder to live with our character defects.
Face one bad habit or “defect” at a time
If you can relate to any of this and you’ve been feeling like you have unresolved issues that can no longer be ignored, don’t be afraid. It’s very easy as addicts to feel as though we need to fix everything at once, but we don’t. And, this is a beautiful thing. The reason why long-term recovery programs work so well (e.g., twelve-step programs, SMART Recovery, etc.) is that they don’t offer a quick-fix solution. While things like rehabs and detox centers are very important stepping stones for many of us on our path to recovery, the vast majority of people who struggle with addiction need to continue doing the work.
Having a recovery routine over the long-term is the best way for a true, blue addict to stay sober. And this doesn’t need to be some clinical thing. Recovery meetings for many people are like going to church, only no one is forcing any kind of religion down our throats. It’s a place where we get to connect with others with whom we share things in common. We can work through stuff and grow together and as human beings, it’s good to always be evolving, whether we’re in recovery or not.
If you’re struggling to overcome patterns of behavior or habits that are beginning to make you feel uneasy, don’t rush the healing. Moreover, don’t try to play God and force your habits to go away. This never works. Try taking things step by step — tackle one at a time, and if you have a higher power, try turning it over to your higher power. If not, talk to someone you trust, or seek outside help in the form of therapy if you have the means to do so. But, the most important thing is to take it easy. Slow down, and give yourself a pat on the back for staying sober. We, as addicts, tend to put way too much pressure on ourselves. No wonder we always needed to be drunk or high.
You’re human — go easy on yourself
Sometimes just recognizing that we’re human can be enough to allow our bad habits to be removed when it’s their time to go. If we continue walking on the right path and engaging in healthy habits, our “defects” WILL eventually fall to the wayside, one by one. It’s just the law of the universe. Really. Practicing good habits daily and having a little faith can both go a long way. Most importantly — just know that it doesn’t have to be tackled all at once. You’ve got this!
Kembali Recovery Center can Help
If you or someone you love is struggling to get or stay sober, Kembali Recovery Center can help. Contact us today to learn about our programs. We’ll also provide you with all the details we have access to in regard to Indonesia’s current travel and safety restrictions. Please keep in mind that these are changing daily, but we’re doing our best to stay as up-to-date as possible.
Remember, you never have to do this alone.