Many of us have spent the majority of our adolescent and adult lives under the confines of our addictions. When we have spent so much time using, it feels uncomfortable and foreign to change all of our old behaviors. It becomes second nature to engage in the rituals and patterns revolving around using and drinking – it is engrained in our daily routine to do certain things in certain ways. Breaking old habits is difficult and takes time, and beginning to develop new ones requires repetition and structure.
A key part in staying sober is developing new and healthy habits to replace our old ones. When we shift the focus in our actions and daily routines from using to recovery, we provide support and structure for ourselves throughout the day. In early stages of recovery, it is important to develop new daily routines focused on positive growth. Daily prayer and meditation, calling our sponsors, healthy eating and exercising schedules, and evening reviews, when repeated on a daily basis, become part of our structure to live by, enhancing our quality of life.
Inpatient treatment, sober living, and accountability groups all help provide the support to maintain structure and routine. Some of us need longer to break old habits and develop new ones, depending on how long we were stuck in our destructive behaviors. Sometimes, we back track subconsciously, simply because it is engrained in us to act a certain way. Giving ourselves ample time to practice newer, healthier habits is one kind thing we can do for ourselves to aid our journeys of recovery. These things take time, so we might as well give ourselves that.