When we transition from active substance abuse to sobriety, we have successfully broken our most unhealthy habit, and one which had a very tight grip on our minds and bodies. Now that you are living in recovery, you should utilize this momentum and examine the other habits present in your day to day life. In all likelihood, other unhealthy behavior patterns have carried over from your active addiction, and these should be eliminated as well in order to ensure your continued success in recovery. Here are a few common negative behavior patterns prevalent among those in early recovery, and some tips on how to replace them with healthy ones.
One habit we often carry into our early recovery is that of poor communication and social isolation. In our active addiction, we often held our tongue in order to avoid confrontation, choosing instead to retreat from the presence of others in order to continue our substance abuse without resistance or admonishment from others regarding our behavior. This behavior served our addiction well, but it has no place in sobriety, as communication and social interaction are key to our success in recovery. In order to break this unhealthy behavior pattern, you should establish a regular AA/NA meeting routine to which you adhere. This will guarantee not a day goes by without some socialization with like-minded individuals, as well as communication with those in your sober support network.
Another area of our lives in which bad habits are likely present is that of our diet. Healthy, balanced meals eaten at regular intervals is rarely the reality for those in active addiction, and we tend to continue those same eating habits in our sobriety. Hopefully, your time in residential treatment re-trained your brain and your appetite back in line with a healthy meal schedule and balanced diet, but upon returning to your life outside you need to put forth effort towards continuing this new normal. The best way to succeed in this regard is to plan ahead = set aside time during your weekends to plan meals for the upcoming week, perhaps even going so far as to prepare the meals in advance to save time during your busy work day.
Breaking unhealthy habits is a big part of our continued success in recovery, as simply ending our active substance abuse does not miraculously rid us of all our problems and defects of character. You should build on the momentum gained in residential treatment by taking immediate action upon your return to life outside so that any healthy patterns formed during your time in treatment can be maintained and cemented in your routine. Ultimately, breaking unhealthy behavior patterns comes down to your willingness and perseverance, just as your success in sobriety requires these same principles. We do not seek perfection in our endeavours, but so long as we try to do better today than we did yesterday we are well on our way to a healthy, happy life in recovery!