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Letting Go of Addiction Even Though It Feels Safe

Many of us stay in addiction because it’s safe. It’s awful, it’s terrible, it’s miserable, and it’s safe. We know exactly what our lives are going to be like. We may talk about how we would like something different, maybe even freedom, but the truth is that we are terrified of the uncertainty that recovery can bring.

This fear makes no sense to a non-addict. Why wouldn’t we want to break our chains and step into the sunlight from those darkened rooms of corn chips and ice cream and sitcoms? Why? Because we’re human, and as with most humans, the miserable familiar feels a lot safer to us than the unknown, even if that unknown could be fabulous. In addition, some of us have had unhappy experiences with happiness and we aren’t so trusting when times are good.

So how can we be brave? One way is to start by building a healthy, predictable structure for our abstinent life. Regular bedtimes, regular meal times, regular exercise, regular social life. That structure can provide a dependable framework we can count on.

What structure added to your life would help strengthen your recovery?

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