Day 4 of 12 Days of Emotional Sobriety
Addiction can be thought of as a destructive habit that continues despite the negative consequences it creates. It’s possible to change addictive habits but it requires commitment and ongoing effort to find a healthy balance in life. I once heard it said that if you stop drinking without replacing it with something better it would be as painful as watching paint dry. Boredom sets in quickly and drinking becomes a good option. Those who struggle with relapse often lack a solid set of good intelligent habits that replace the multitudes of behaviours that supported and justified their addiction.
It’s so important to have a routine of positive habits to replace the negative lifestyle of addiction. Whether that involved criminality or just plain laziness when it came to showing up for life, emotional sobriety is about cultivating inner peace & usefulness. This is a lifelong process and starts with each new day and each new challenge.
Many addicts grew up in families that created negative beliefs about themselves and the world. This negativity translates into self-loathing, self-doubt, learned helplessness and a loss of hope. These attitudes and outlooks on life are part of the addictive habit. Being committed to challenging and changing your limiting self-talk, is the first step to creating a solid foundation of good, intelligent habit formation. This will be followed in action by healthy, life-sustaining activities, that give back to the world in meaningful ways.
Tip for Today
Challenge yourself to a 24-hour ‘negativity fast’. This will require a great deal of attention to your thoughts and feelings. Having a negative thought or feeling is not the problem – giving it energy by embellishing it as truth is the problem. Each time you think negatively of yourself or someone else, quickly replace it with “I chose love today” or, “I suspend judgement for now”, or whatever sounds like a simple, positive antidote in the moment. Then immediately decide to do something useful. It could be attending to a chore, or calling a friend who is going through a tough time or taking care of some outstanding business. Make a conscious effort to lay down good, intelligent pathways for health. Emotional sobriety is an inside job – that gets manifested in your (outside) world.
There is no better time than the holiday season to create a positive habit of giving to others, to help yourself and your emotional recovery.
Share this with your friends and family who could benefit from 12 tips to keep you emotionally sober this holiday season. Don’t forget to leave a comment below if this resonates with you or if you have tips of your own you’d like to share. See you tomorrow for tip #5!