Posted by Steps to Recovery on January 20, 2013

My friend and I had a conversation today about how, as the years go by, recovery and how it shows up in a lot of people’s everyday lives changes. Not the actual situation of being in recovery and doing the things we need to do to stay clean and sober, but the internal and external dialog around recovery, recovery being in the front of our minds, the things we do to uphold our sobriety and how we relate with others about these things. To the newcomer, it might seem as though recovery has become less important or less of a priority to someone who isn’t in early recovery as well. I don’t believe it is that at all, in fact, what I think happens is that recovery simply becomes ingrained as the road in life we are traveling.

People in long term recovery don’t necessarily need to make discussing recovery the main priority in their life any longer. They have done it so much already that it is just the way they live now. I know for me, when I was in early recovery, all I talked about was my program and what I was doing. I breathed nothing but what I was learning. It was the way I kept myself focused and moving. Because I needed to fake it until I made it. If I could just replace those thoughts of using with thoughts of the progress I was making, if I could just go through the motions and complete the steps of the process, it was that much longer that I was staying away from drugs. And “that much longer” turned into days, weeks, months and now years.

Of course I thought about using. I still do. But in early recovery, it was that almost robotic movement that kept me going. Go to class, go to movement, go to group, go to counseling. Go home and do my homework, eat, take care of myself and my pets, go to bed. Wake up the next day and start all over. Now I basically do the same thing, just with different things to fill my time. And now, over 3 years later, it just comes naturally. I noticed it started to get easier to stick to a rough schedule after about the first year.

Faking it until I made it kept me in recovery and helped me establish the trust in myself and the belief in myself that I need to stay clean. Did you fake it until you made it?