Were you looking for a table to hide under when they said you had to go to 90 meetings in 90 days? I know I was, but I was so deep into my “act” that I agreed – and I actually did it!
You Have to Do Something Different
Here’s the thing: We have to replace our routines of drinking or drugging with healthier patterns. And as long as they’re healthy, it really doesn’t matter what those new patterns are! (I did yoga. I showed up every day for 90 days and did yoga. It felt great. It hurt, but I did it.)
You might find your pattern is meditation, but do it with a group. Do it in a way that, if you don’t show up, someone will miss you. If you’re religious, you might take up a daily prayer practice. I have plenty of friends who found that going to noon Mass was helpful. That might not be for you, and that’s cool, but do something.
Retrain Your Brain
In recovery, we have to train ourselves to rely on something other than the drugs. Believe me, I know what kind of hold the drugs can have, but we have to put something healthy in its place. Meetings work for some, and we must be supportive of their path. But there are those of us who find that AA meetings make us want to go out and drink a fifth of bourbon.
You don’t have to do things the way that traditional recovery specialists suggest. That’s especially true if you’re an introvert; a lot of the “traditional” ways just don’t fit. But let’s take what does work and go with that.
Sit down quietly with yourself and sincerely ask “What do I love to do?” If your answer is gardening, do it for an hour a day for 90 days, no matter what. Put on your gardening gloves and go pull up weeds.
I have a friend who loves to do biostatistics. He actually recovered by getting a PhD in biostats. That’s just weird and, frankly, it really scares me, but the idea is do what you want to do for an hour a day. You need new routines to replace the old ones. Do it either in the morning or when your cravings would normally hit.
One thing – one thing you love. Do it every day for 90 days. You can do this.
Additional Reading: 9 Steps to Building a Self-Care Plan in Recovery
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