Three Taverns Church

Question 18: Do I have a ‘safe’ place I can go to break my routine?

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Let me start by saying: Happy Easter! Christ is risen! Over the past few days I’ve been listening to excerpts from two of S.M. Lockridge’s most famous sermons: “Sunday’s Coming” and “That’s My King”. I invite you to watch these two brief clips…they are truly inspirational!

Now, back to the 21 Questions…Question 18 seeks to break us out of our habitual routines during the Addiction Cycle. I believe there are two purposes for breaking our routine:

  1. If you have a compulsive or addictive behavior you may have unconsciously built your routine around things that trigger you. It’s not necessarily your fault;it is the way you are wired and the way you think. You surround yourself with the things that cater to your destructive habit. Consciously going to a ‘safe’ place to break your routine gets you away from these unconscious landmines that will sabotage your day and send your further in the Addiction Cycle
  2. By focusing on going to a ‘safe’ place you are not focusing on the temptation in your mind and spirit. When you plan on going to a ‘safe’ place you get out of your own head; you avoid mental isolation and fantasy

Let me put this in terms of my own struggle with pornography. My old routine used to involve coming home early so I could act out before my family came home. These days when I am in the Addiction Cycle I know that I cannot go back to that routine and arrive home early, because that spells trouble for me. Instead I might choose to stay late at work, go for a run, go for a walk around the city, go to the library to borrow a book, meet a friend after work for a coffee…anything that breaks my habitual routine and keeps me from people, places, and things that might trigger a relapse.

Safe places to go to break your routine during the Addiction Cycle might include:

  • A library or bookstore (unless that bookstore carries adult magazines and/or videos)
  • Church
  • Going to a friend’s house
  • Serving dinner at a homeless shelter
  • Exercising
  • Writing a letter to a family member (yes, with pen and paper)

Today’s Challenge: Spend some time now and come up with a list of things you could do to break your routine the next time you fall into the Addiction Cycle. This list should keep you away from historically triggering people, places and things in your life. It should also keep you from becoming mentally and physically isolated.

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