This article is the last of three in this series. In the last article, Habits to Shed in Exchange for Sober Living (Part Two), we spoke about releasing self-limiting beliefs. Together, these three articles have been exploring the new and healthier inner patterns that sober living requires. More accurately, it is reviewing the mental habits to let go of in order to create room for positivity, sobriety, and a whole new way of seeing the world.
However, before this list of habits comes to an end, there’s something important to note about happiness. In the end, we are all seeking happiness. Although that might appear to be the avoidance or escape from pain, most people are searching for joy, fulfillment, and a satisfaction with life.
This is particularly true for those who are both still struggling with addiction and those who have begun their recovery. Anyone still fighting an addiction often turns to drinking or drugs because they want to escape from pain. There’s a dependency on the substance to feel better about life, to experience euphoria, power, or even joyful again. Addiction is a way to achieve happiness by escaping a painful past or the discomforts of present circumstances.
Once you let go of the addiction, recovery itself becomes the path to happiness, especially if the addiction was damaging. In fact, if there are few feelings of happiness, contentment, or purpose during the first days or months of recovery, there’s a chance of relapse. If recovering addicts feel comfortable or content in their recovery, they are more likely to stay on that path versus regress to the addiction again.
Ultimately, this list of habits to release, broken up into these three articles, is a list of ways to return to happiness inside. It’s a way of seeking contentment and satisfaction within. And once the inner landscape changes, so does the rest of the world. Here are a few more habits to consider shedding:
- Being Critical – There’s a saying that when you’re pointing your finger at someone else, there are three fingers pointing back at you. Perhaps you can imagine yourself pointing the finger at someone; you might notice those three other fingers pointing inward. Often, the critic inside comes out when we are fearful or uncomfortable in our surroundings. Yet, there is something freeing in remembering that everyone in the world of recovery is on various points of the path, and everyone is doing the best they can. In fact, everyone, whether they are in recovery or not, is always doing the best they can. Given the fact that no one is perfect and no one is entirely free of struggle, we are all making our way in the world as best we can with the resources we have. Realizing this can free you from criticism, not only judging yourself but judging others as well.
- Resisting Change – In the end, resisting change is futile. The whole world is always changing. If you think about it, the earth is always turning, the planet is always circling the sun, the flowers are always blooming, and the grass is always growing. There’s nothing but change in Nature, and the same is true for a human life too. Thoughts are always happening, the circumstances in life are always fluctuating, and even emotions, although they might be the same ones again and again, they come and go throughout the day. There’s no point in resisting change because it’s an unstoppable force in the universe and resisting it will only lead to suffering.
- Having Excuses – Excuses are a way of preventing ourselves from making the right choice. Rather than begin the path of recovery, for example, hanging on to excuses can allow an attachment to drinking to continue. Excuses are like boomerangs that come back again and again, only revealing the right path.
This list was meant to reveal patterns of thought that perpetuate an addiction. It is meant to highlight the themes of thinking that are limiting and imprisoning. Letting these thinking patterns go can lead the way to freedom and to a recovered, restored way of life.
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