Recovery from addiction is not entirely about building a life free from chemical dependency, but it also deals a great lot in building new healthy habits.
The newest of mine is reading.
Sometimes I feel like a Burgess Meredith character in the Twilight Zone just trying to steal a few more minutes of time -a sentence here, a paragraph there the whole time interrupted by life in general.
*you might have noticed the Virtual Bookshelf on my page as well*
Healthy hobbies like these are essential to a long-term and successful recovery. I read a statement recently that was a little blunter than the other positive messages floating around the sober community.
-a bluntness that is befitting the message.
You are either working on recovery or working on a relapse.
I know recovery is not linear, but just imagine yourself on a tightrope for a second. Everything you do is either moving you forward toward recovery or backward toward a relapse. Every choice you make moving your forward or farther from the end result on either side.
If you can keep this image in your mind, you will begin to see how things you do either, little by little, tip the scales for or against you. You will start to see healthier practices as daily necessities to get you where you are trying to go, versus running back to the familiar and very dangerous things we left behind.
Knowing that recovery is not a straight line, but seeing this mental visual can still help you work toward recovery in a way that lets you evaluate every single situation and the effects it will have in your life.
Some of these habits can even be as simple as a mandatory self-care routine.
- cooking. Because, let’s face it, not enough of us know how to cook healthy, well-balanced meals and the thought alone triggers many people into a tailspin of overeating or starvation.
- write in a journal or sit down and doodle. Even if you feel you aren’t “good” at it, sit down for fifteen minutes a day and write whatever is on your mind. If fifteen minutes doesn’t seem like enough, double the time. You might find after half an hour a day, you aren’t as bad as you thought, and it’s kind of fun when you are good at it.
- cleanse, exfoliate, moisturize, etc… Some ‘me’ time, is very important in your recovery to recharge your internal battery. Even if it’s setting aside time to mask nightly, this healthy habit
- set aside once a week (at least) for an hour of uninterrupted reading time
-if you don’t read, work out, paint, take a walk, stare at the ceiling while you listen to that old 90’s song you still secretly love, on repeat.
No phone, social media, or email.
(Remember this is about building habits that are better for you, not mindlessly scrolling, or getting worked up about what Nancy Nobody has to say about breastfeeding in public.)
Try to think about each habit either moving you closer to successful recovery or farther from it.
The more we talk about it, the less scary it is
-on the sober side.
If you are ready to start your healthy habit building, check out these links below that will give you a jumpstart to tackling the above-mentioned habits, like a pro.