Is it possible to save up your serenity in recovery and store it for future use?
Sometimes it seems like we can….for example, if we have a very relaxing weekend or go on some sort of spiritual retreat and really “get our batteries recharged.” It can seem in times like these that we are, in fact, banking our serenity and storing it for later use.
But this is an illusion, and reality always comes back to show us who is boss. Eventually our smooth life will get a wrinkle in it of some sort, and we will be knocked off this spiritual pedestal. The notion that we could store up serenity seems silly when this finally happens.
So the question becomes, how should we live in this case? What can we do to prevent ourselves from trying to accumulate serenity and store it away for a rainy day? How should we try to live instead?
The answer is that we must cultivate our recovery each and every day. The key is in realizing that this is necessary and forming the necessary habits to make it happen.
A series of habits
For me, successful recovery can be viewed as a series of successful habits. We’ve replaced bad habits with good ones. Do this enough times, in enough different areas of our lives, and you will experience a better life in recovery.
What are some of these daily habits that might be used to maintain serenity in your life? It’s all about balance. Consider someone who:
1) Either prays or meditates every day as part of a routine (or does both).
2) Reaches out and helps other recovering addicts on a regular basis, such as by chairing a meeting each week or by sponsoring newcomers in a 12 step program.
3) Exercises on a regular basis and feels good about their physical health.
4) Networks with others in recovery on a regular basis, possibly through scheduled events or regular meet up times so that they always work it in to their busy schedule to connect with others.
And so on.
So we can use regular habits such as these to maintain our recovery. If we don’t have these good habits in place, we run the risk of getting off track in our recovery. And why is this important?
Because in long term recovery, fighting complacency is job number one.
Therefore, patterns and habits in our lives that encourage us to grow as a person are particularly powerful strategies.
Let’s say that again in another way, because it is important: If you form habits that keep you active in recovery and keep you on a path of growth, then you’re going to do well in recovery. The key is to find the habits and patterns that work well for you and then sustain them over time.