In early recovery, we have to use brute force in order to stay clean and sober. Some of us our gritting our teeth through the first few weeks, just barely hanging on to our sobriety.
Of course it gets easier, almost regardless of what program you follow or what recovery strategy you employ. This doesn’t mean that staying clean is easy or that no one should ever relapse, of course. But it does get easier over time.
For example, if you’re working a 12 step program, then eventually you become accustomed to the meetings and the routine and you will slowly form the habits that help you to stay clean and sober. (Here are some bonus tips for 12 step recovery if you’re interested). In the beginning, you forced yourself to go to that first meeting, and you had to force yourself to reach out and find a sponsor. But these things became routine for you and now provide a framework for your sobriety. As you stay sober and continue with your program, you reinforce the habits that make your recovery work for you. In effect, you make sobriety into a habit. Thus it gets a bit easier over time.
It is the same with creation
If you’re living the creative theory, the same ideas apply – eventually you’ll develop the habits that keep you sober over the long haul.
Initially, creative strategies will not necessarily come naturally. For example, “caring for ourselves” is not necessarily a natural reaction for a lot of addicts and alcoholics. We have a strong tendency to neglect, or even abuse ourselves in a lot of different ways. This takes deliberate action in order to overcome this tendency.
And so the idea of good habits becomes important. Good habits form the framework for our recovery.
Habits are action oriented
One of the important ideas here is that habits are action oriented. This is powerful stuff in recovery. It doesn’t do much good to sit around and think about our life, or how we are going to recover, and so on. Recovery demands action.
Write in a journal. Meditate. Exercise. Connect with another addict. Push yourself to learn something new.
All actions. These are the kinds of things that form the framework of creative recovery.
Note that some people in recovery will focus on different actions. That’s great – you have to find your own path in some cases. But if you just sit around and try to think your way through recovery, you’re not gonna make it. You have to do stuff to recover. And when you do things that strengthen your recovery on a consistent basis, this forms the good habits that become a solid framework for your recovery.
Good habits make for a smoother life
The final payoff for me is in living a better life through these established habits. For example, the habit of regular exercise continues to give benefits to me, over and over again. The same is true when it comes to reaching out and connecting with other recovering addicts. Because these are regular habits, they provide stability and long term value to me over the long haul.
Good habits are a big part of creation because when you establish these habits they become a big part of your reality. If you form good habits and stick with them then they will play a large part in shaping your future. This is a strong way to create.
So how do we know which habits to form? I think a good guideline could be formed by looking at the 3 strategies:
1) Personal growth – such as forming the habit of learning new things, going to school, or the habit of pushing ourselves to explore new things.
2) Caring for self – such as establishing an exercise routine, regular meditation, and so on.
3) Networking with others – such as 90 meetings in 90 days, etc.
What habits have you formed in your recovery? Are they serving you well?
My good friend in recovery recently started a new website, check him out and see what you think. His name is Art and he is involved in the 12 step program.