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Welcome to the Atheists in Recovery Podcast, where we talk about finding hope in recovery. And now your host, Dr. Adina Silvestri
Adina Silvestri 0:11
Hola Atheists in Recovery, and welcome to Episode 87 of the Atheists in Recovery podcast. And today is a solo episode. And we are talking about rituals and routines and how they can help you in your recovery journey. And I love rituals and routines, as you're going to find out throughout the course of this solo episode. But before we go any further, I want to give you guys a frame of how I define rituals and routines. So for me, routines ground us, and they help us create structure and predictability and rituals, create excitement, rituals are checking in with friends, on the weekends, going for a hike with your favorite person driving to a mutual help support group, then maybe going for coffee afterwards, or just creating your own mutual support group with a bunch of guys or girls that you're in recovery with and discovering your experiences discussing your experiences. And you found knowledge, important connections that maybe you've made. So rituals, come up with a creative approach routines are the act of doing something that just feels good, that feels comfortable, you know, maybe it's going to that scheduled recovery, meaning making sure that you wake up at 6am to meditate or do yoga or write in your journal. So there's a whole discipline related to rituals and routines that I'm not going to. So I don't want to talk too much about the differences between the two. But I just want to give you guys an idea of how I see them and, and how I'm going to frame the discussion. And so with that, I'm not really doing bullet points for this solo episode, which is different, I'm actually going to be asking you a series of questions. And so this is something that I do with my air community, and the monthly newsletter is I asked them a bunch of questions. And so I'm doing it for that reason, because I people have told me that that's helpful. And then the other reason I'm doing it this way is, well, it's fun. And I believe that you probably have some great rituals of your own. And so by asking you these questions, I'm hoping that you'll answer them, and maybe even send me some of your favorites. And who knows, maybe you'll get a shout out in the newsletter, the following month. Okay, let's get on to my questions for you. So I'm a big journaler. And our brain, I feel like is a problem solving "vessel." And so this is your job, your job is to write down each of these questions, and then answer them. Number one, identify what routines and rituals have created continuity for you this year. So what has helped you throughout this really insane year? You know, is that recovery Dharma meeting online each Monday night? You know, maybe it's feeling ritualistic for a number of reasons. Maybe it's that you just value having this ritualistic thing in your life. So the routines would be whatever you replace the drinking with. Maybe it's avoiding those same supermarkets. Maybe it's restaurants you used to frequent. You know, you you tell me you write write those answers down. Number two, what new routines and rituals have created structure and joy for you this year? I believe addiction is just a highly repetitive, maladaptive behavior. Sure, it's got psycho social, physiological aspects to it. But if we boil it down, I think that it's just a very repetitive, maladaptive behavior. And so I think we can change the way you think and act. Just look at the past year. Look at all of those zoom meetings. You found a way to make it happen. What have you done in between those zoom meetings? How have you marked the time and the space now? Do you get up, put on your work clothes, even though you're from home, to sit at your kitchen table and attend meetings? Do you switch out of your work? clothes into something more casual so that you can go out with your partner for dinner. Maybe have evening walks in which you snap pics of very of just the very beauty in the world.
What new routines and rituals Have you created? That brought about joy for you this year? Number three, do you follow any religious or spiritual rituals? This is a familiar A.I.R. question that I ask every guest on the podcast. And, you know, I find for my spiritual, religious, like gnostic, whatever you want to label yourself beings, having a sense of purpose, community involvement, practicing gratitude, meditation, these are all answers I receive repeatedly as things that are helping them in their recovery. You know, as a child, my family were, like event Catholics, you know, we went on Christmas, you went on Easter weddings, baptism here and there, there was an event we'd be there. But then that was sort of the closest that I ever really got to, to having a relationship with God. I mean, it was very, you know, I just didn't have one, I didn't even really think about it all that much. There was a time that we were Catholic, and then the rest of the time we were not as an adult, you know, my, my feelings, my thoughts about higher beings and higher power, they sometimes change on a on a weekly basis. And so I acknowledge that there's something greater than me. And I especially acknowledge it working, it's magic, and everything that I see just, you know, the beauty, the life, the environment, the power of humanity, it's, it's, you know, I think it's everywhere. So, do you follow any religious or spiritual rituals? Number four, what are some special routines or rituals you've made with friends this year? So I've shared a couple of mine in the atheist and recovery newsletter that goes out monthly. Some of mine are making a buffet for my partner in the morning, because we both work from home now. or baking, something that I'd never used that I've never done. I took a baking and so now I'm sharing that with friends. And I'm, you know, I'm creating a sense of, you know, giving and community everywhere that I possibly can where it's where it's safe. Yeah, I started a Movie Club, as you guys know, from past episodes. So what special routines rituals Have you made with friends that have helped you to stay connected this year? What are they? Number Five? What new rituals and routines Would you like to try now? Maybe you've already tried some of them, and then life just got in the way. And then you stopped? You could pick them up again. Think about it. Think about what things you would like to try now. How would you like to move through your recovery journey? What would be helpful for you? What would be nurturing for you would feel good? I really find that rituals, just her have this, this great sense of meaning with them. And so if you compare them with a routine that you already do, that's going to be very helpful. So I hope you're gonna try a new ritual today. Don't wait. Soon as you answer these questions, try one. And let me know how it goes. So I have one more question for you. We'll call it Question number six. How can you use rituals for slips? You know, slips are tough. And there's a lot of shame. You know, whether we're a year into sobriety and we slip whether 20 years into sobriety and we slip, I feel like the amount of pain definitely should not be lessened. We all experience pain in different ways. And so when we slip, we isolate, we hide we feel ashamed. We feel like we're the only person in the world that that this is happening to that screwed up. That's just not true. You're not the only person that's struggling. And so the couple of rituals that I've heard from from colleagues and that I want to adopt myself are and this one is kind of a big one, but I'm going to throw it out there.
You know what if I think that we do a really good job, I talk a lot about this a newsletter, we do a really good job of having rituals for beginnings, right? Like we celebrate the beginning of a relationship. We always celebrate wedding sweep. We celebrate job promotions, we celebrate sobriety, we celebrate all these things. But we don't celebrate the endings of things. We don't celebrate a divorce, you know that maybe that sounds insane to you. But there are some things that you did really well in that relationship. And so just to look at it in such a black and white way, that's really doing a disservice to you. And it's doing a disservice to the past relationship. But what if you decided to tell your friends, I had a slip, and then you had an I slipped, I'm human party, you invited your friends to come over and talk about a time when they just let themselves down. When they felt shame, maybe when they felt like they let other people down? You know, guys slipping from using alcohol or drugs is not the only way that we screw up. I mean, there's so many other ways that humans screw up, and I'm very familiar with, with this very familiar with failure. And so what if your friends just came and they and they held you. And they all talked about ways that they screwed up? You know, maybe they write poems, maybe you guys eat and laugh and joke. And, you know, I just I think that it would be a great way to celebrate being human and that way. The other ritual I thought about was, you know, and this is something that actually, we did an episode on, it's probably one of the most popular episodes, it's how to declutter your life. So maybe you need to remove past stuff up, you know, wine bottles, wine shelves, anything that represents the addicted self, the old, addictive self, maybe need to write a breakup letter with addiction, you know, any of those things. Those are all ways that you can create rituals for slips. And, you know, routines, of course, you have to be really clear about how you're going to replace the 5pm drinks with guys or the the beers that you have at night. As you're zoning out to the TV. To be very clear about how you're going to do that maybe you go for a run at that time. Instead, maybe you check in with a couple friends via via the phone or tax store. You know, I think that rituals and routines are a big part of your recovery journey. And so I believe that I would really would love for you to share how you're navigating this with me. And I hope that this was helpful. I hope that you maybe you picked up a couple of rituals by listening to this episode. And so if you want a little bit more in depth look at rituals and routines, and a little dose of goodness in your inbox. Please sign up for the atheist recovery newsletter. Go to atheistsinrecovery.com and click on the green link in the top right to subscribe to the monthly newsletter. And that's all I have for today. Guys, I hope you enjoyed today's episode. Have a great one. Bye.
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Welcome to today’s show!
In today’s episode, I outline 6 questions to ask yourself on how routines & rituals have helped you in your recovery. My bullet points below are a series of questions rather than statements. This is similar to what I do with my monthly newsletter. I’m a big journaler and our brains are problem solving “vessels” so let it do its job. Write down each question and then answer it
WHAT WE’LL LEARN
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