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Addiction - a Destructive Force

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Addiction is a destructive force in our lives and as we become sicker in our addiction, daily structure becomes widely distorted and almost obsolete. Often in active addiction, we have given up on healthy eating and sleep habits and our entire life is consumed with using, searching, and recovering from the use of drugs and alcohol. When we get clean and sober our daily structure needs to change in order to accommodate our healthy recovery behavior in a positive and healthy way. When you first become sober it can feel a bit overwhelming. Learning to deal with life on life’s terms without the use of drugs and alcohol as a crutch to mask your feelings can be a very hard ordeal to overcome. However, developing a routine early on in recovery will provide some structure that can be comforting and beneficial. By having a structured routine early in recovery you can break down all of the things you need to do each day and make it a lot more manageable.  It will also give you a sense of stability and purpose. It will help you to steer away from cravings and urges, keep you from procrastinating, lower your anxiety and worry, and keep you from falling back into the old unhealthy and destructive patterns of drinking and using.  

For myself, I have always had a problem with any kind of structure or discipline. Once I became an adult, I stopped listening to anyone of authority. I thought that I knew everything already and wasn’t willing to take any suggestions from anyone. Now that I am sober, structure is something that I still find myself struggling with daily. However, because I am willing to do anything to stay sober, just for today, I am willing to incorporate some daily routine and structure into my life. The question is where should I start?

A good place for me to start is by following the rules set forth in my treatment facility even if I don’t necessarily agree with them. I would also benefit from taking suggestions to work a program of Alcoholics Anonymous by getting a sponsor, signing up for a home group, starting to work the 12 steps, reading the Big Book, continuing to attend meeting on a consistent basis, and continuing to build a support group of clean and sober friends to call on when I am struggling. Another way to incorporate structure into my daily routine is also to try to eat three balanced meals a day and try to add some more positive routines to my day like exercising regularly and getting an adequate amount of sleep each night.  The next thing that I can do is to take a good hard look at my life and the goals I want to accomplish. If I just put a little structure behind my goals than they won’t just be wishes they actually will have the opportunity to become reality.  



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