“Just as there was no question that the behaviors listed in our inner circle were compulsive, addictive, and therefore dangerous and destructive, so there is no question that the behaviors we list in our ‘outer circle’ bring recovery and are to be encouraged, praised and practiced.”
I heard that it takes twenty-one days to establish a new habit or to break an old habit. I must be slow because it took me several years to establish the habits of recovery, and I must focus daily to stay on my recovery path.
I had one of my most difficult times in recovery trying to identify behaviors for my outer circle. I knew what belonged in my inner circle, the destructive behaviors that damaged my life, my health, and my relationship. But finding the behaviors to replace my addiction was a new challenge. These are the behaviors that will improve and affirm my life. In my addiction I did not feel worthy of anything that would improve my life.
At first, I had to deliberately program outer-circle behaviors into my daily activities. When I practice outer-circle behaviors, I know that someone else’s life is better, even if it is just mine. I take care of myself with daily exercise, prayer, meditation, and family time. I serve the fellowship in my local group and intergroup. When I come from service, I have no time for acting out and those destructive thoughts are less likely to cross my mind.
Today, still one day at a time, I am filling my life and my outer circle with behaviors and activities that strengthen my recovery.