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The Habits that Impede Our Recovery

When working to recover, we often still have many habits that are toxic and destructive, and that impede our chances for a successful recovery. We very often aren’t aware of these habits. Consciously we want to get better and we’re actively working towards recovery, but subconsciously we’re still being fueled by certain beliefs and fears that are impeding our healing. These habits can be mental, emotional or behavioral, and they can pertain to our routines and lifestyles, our everyday behaviors and choices, and the fundamental ways in which we’re living our lives. Until we get a handle on these habits, we may continue to hold ourselves back in our recovery, a sign we’re still subconsciously self-sabotaging and undermining our health and happiness.

One of the clearest and most obvious habits we perpetuate that impedes our recovery is our tendency to procrastinate on taking the steps needed to get better. We don’t research treatment centers, or we don’t check in once we’ve been accepted to one. We don’t look for a therapist, or we stop going to sessions. We go to support group meetings sporadically or not at all. To the outside world, to our friends and family members, the people most invested in our recovery, it appears that we don’t care, that we don’t want to get better, and that we’re prioritizing everything else over getting better. Internally we very well may want to succeed in our recovery but aren’t ready yet to do the challenging work required of us. Subconsciously we might be afraid we’ll fail so we avoid trying. We might fear being judged by people, so we can’t bring ourselves to reach out for help. Our procrastination looks as though we don’t take our recovery seriously, but often there is something much deeper going on.

Another habit we have that blocks our recovery is our dishonesty. We’ve developed patterns of lying to ourselves and others, denying our addictions and pretending as though everything is fine. We often want to avoid our loved ones’ being worried about us or angry with us. We don’t want to be looked down upon, criticized and judged. We have a hard time being open about our very painful addictions. We lie to keep from having to be open and honest with other people but most importantly with ourselves. Our lies very often aren’t malicious. We’re not usually trying to hurt the people we love, be deceitful, or betray their trust. We’ve grown so accustomed to using secrecy and avoidance as coping mechanisms that we feel we have to lie to cover our tracks, to maintain our addictions, and to avoid facing our truth. We might feel so consumed with shame, regret and self-hatred that we feel we have to hide the truth from people. Many of us have developed patterns of using dishonesty as a form of self-protection, for example to protect ourselves from being mistreated or abused, and our lies have become the go-to defense mechanism we use to make ourselves feel safe whenever we feel threatened or challenged in any way. Some of us develop pathological tendencies and lie compulsively, feeling as though we’re unable to stop ourselves from lying even when we might want to. When we’re unable to be honest with ourselves, we never push ourselves to take the steps to heal. We never fully connect with our true selves. We’re essentially blocking ourselves from our inner selves, and this can make it impossible for us to heal.

Many of us develop habits around secrecy and suppression that keep us from being able to recover. Not only do we lie to keep from having to tell the truth, we avoid expressing it altogether. We keep everything locked inside of us, where it can’t receive the light of our conscious awareness or the compassion and understanding it needs in order to heal. We’re so afraid of sharing our difficult thoughts, feelings and experiences, so afraid of being vulnerable, that we would rather keep everything to ourselves than risk exposing our truth to people and feeling the vulnerability and powerlessness that can come with it. We don’t reach out for help. We don’t open up to other people. We keep our secrets hidden within us, where they cause us more pain and inner conflict. We might tell ourselves and others that we’re private people, that we simply don’t feel comfortable sharing too much personal information, but very often deep down our silence and suppression are escape tactics to try and avoid having to deal with our pain. The more we do this, the less we’re able to heal. We’re not giving ourselves the chance to connect with ourselves in a real way. When we’re so disconnected from ourselves and our truth that we can’t even express it, we aren’t at all open to healing.

Recovering from addiction means tackling some of these very pervasive habits, habits that we have been perpetuating over much of our lives sometimes without even being mindful of them or ever being called on them. We might never have had anyone point out for us just how damaging these habits can be to our well-being and to our chances for recovery. We might subconsciously believe we’re protecting ourselves from more harm. We might think these habits are benign and have nothing to do with our addictions or our ability to recover from them. As we gain more consciousness around them, though, we can begin to see the ways in which they’ve held us back, and we can take steps to form new habits that serve us better along our recovery journey.

At The Guest House Ocala, our recovery programs include many experiential modalities including traditional therapy, conscious connected breathwork, equine therapy, somatic experiencing, art in healing, grief therapy, mindfulness and other forms of therapy. Call 855-483-7800 today for more information.