View all:  Voices of Recovery

January 19

“Willingness to change routines that threaten our sobriety helps us stay out of our inner circle.”

Tools of Recovery, page 14

Even before I got into recovery, I was aware of many routines that fed my addiction. To gain abstinence, I had to be willing to change my actions. With the help of my sponsor, I cataloged those routines, and then took steps to introduce new routines and eliminate old ones. The first new routine was to start my day by getting on my knees and asking my Higher Power for the willingness and ability to get through this day sober.

Most, if not all, of the routines I addressed in the beginning were physical: people, places and behaviors. By changing these routines, I was able to achieve abstinence.

But true recovery is abstinence coupled with spiritual growth. As the sexual obsessions began to dissipate with abstinence, I discovered mental and emotional routines that threatened this sobriety. My mental criticisms of others reflected harsh judgments about myself, leaving me isolated, lonely, and vulnerable to slips. To maintain sobriety, I had to change these routines too, first by identifying them through my resentments (Steps Four and Five), and then working the Sixth and Seventh Step on these defects of character.

Today, I am more conscious of my attitudes toward myself and others, and I am willing to change those routines of the heart and mind that threaten my sobriety and serenity.

This is a program of action. Grant me willingness to take new actions—actions that reflect health, courage, and love.