Entry 15: Structure

Recovery requires a schedule. That is what I am finding. A rhythm. A cadence. Whatever word you like. One day at a time is the mantra I hear in meetings. And each day has a schedule and a structure.

My days start at 5:45 am spending time reading my Bible. I joined a men’s Bible study through my church. I tried a few out until I found this one. I like it. We are going through 1 Timothy right now. Only about 10 verses at a time. We are going in-depth and the study takes about 20 minutes each day. I have never studied the Bible like this. It is starting to make sense to me. I see what others have meant about scripture coming alive.

I drive to work. My commute is usually about 45 minutes. I spend most of the drive in prayer but different prayer. I try and have a conversation with God. If I am going to know Him personally, I need to talk to him like a person. So I do. I tell Him how thankful I am for revealing truth to me every day. I talk to him about my struggles, my worries, my anxieties and my recovery. I thank Him for my wife and ask Him to keep healing her.  And I whine some, too. Recovery is hard. It sucks some days. I know He knows this, but I am practicing rigorous honesty!

I schedule my time at work. I don’t do well with empty, unplanned time. That’s when I find myself zoning out, searching the internet, not focused. My mind without focus is where my addiction lives. I don’t want to go there again. So, I schedule my time. I keep my priorities on my white board so I don’t lose sight of them. My counselor pointed out there is a dividing line from alone time to isolating. I don’t want to cross that line.

At lunch, I write my story or I text my recovery friends. My accountability partners. I say hello to my wife if she has time. I go for a walk outside and listen to a podcast or a recovery book on Audible or I listen to my recovery music playlist.

I leave work on time. I don’t find reasons to stay late, to avoid my family, to not go home. I have a call with an accountability partner on the way home, or I listen to a podcast or I just listen to recovery music until I get home. I check in with my wife to let her know when I leave and make sure she knows where I am.

I come in and see my wife and my children. I catch up with them about their day, what is happening, what is important to them. I stay engaged in their lives, stay present. We have dinner together if we are all there, but at the very least I get to spend some time with my wife catching up. Depending on the day, I may go to a recovery meeting (usually 3 or 4 per week).

When I get back home, my wife and I spend some time doing our intimacy exercises, talking about our feelings, what we love about each other, and we pray for each other after we read a devotion together.

My days and weeks are structured, simple, focused. Not chaotic. My addict thrives on chaos and uncertainty. This clarity and structure is new. I am thankful for it. I am thankful for the focus on what is important: to my God, my wife, my children and to me. In that order. This is new…and its recovery. And I just want it to be my life.