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Changing Old Routines

Most of our compulsive behaviors are intricately woven into the fabric of our lives.  Certain times of day or specific locations, people, and activities are part of our acting-out patterns.  Changing old routines that are associated with our addiction is an important tool for staying sober.  Some of us may choose to change our route to work so that we do not pass a place where we have acted out.  We may change our primary form of transportation: from car to train, from walking to biking, or we may join a different car pool.  Certain times of day are higher risk for some addicts, and we may decide to set up new activities or support for these vulnerable hours.  We decide, at least for a while, to avoid the company of certain people who have been part of our addictive patterns. We remove from our immediate environment any objects or media that we associate with our addiction, so that in the daily course of our lives we are not continually tempted by our old habits.

Willingness to change routines that threaten our sobriety helps us stay out of our Inner Circle.  The distance that abstinence provides allows for a clearer perspective on the powerlessness and unmanageability of our addiction.  Often, our defects of character that have been masked by our addiction become more apparent once we have time away from these behaviors.

Abstinence also gives us the opportunity to become more centered, serene, and connected to our Higher Power.  It allows us the time and space to reclaim or develop interests that may have been marginalized for many years while we were in the full swing of our addiction.

Please remember that recovery does not happen overnight.  It takes time, patience, and the guidance of others to discover what we need to do to stay abstinent.