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Does a "routine life" seem difficult after years of addiction?

Does a "routine life" seem difficult after years of addiction?
Another question for the longtermers (in recovery that is...)

After having lived a chaotic/dramatic/on the edge lifestyle in addiction for a long time, then finally taking hold of a life in recovery...
Does it seem difficult to adjust to a "normal, routined" life after that?

Reason I ask...Our daughter is doing great in her recovery. However, it seems she is still and maybe forever will be
sort of unsettled, like on the go, changing living places, trying this and that. Don't get me wrong, she's doing beautifully
in her recovery; her whole network of friends and things she does is almost always in a recovery surrounding and situation.
It just seems like after having rode the addiction ride for 15 yrs. to finally try and live a settled down and routined lifestyle (like a lot of
us Normies do), might just seem to difficult?

I was driving home from work, thinking about how the simple things in life are so pleasing, (especially the older I get) simple things like driving on the
country roadside, finally getting home, relaxing and eating dinner with my husband while watching evening news. Now doesn't
that seem so boring to a lot of you? I don't know if our daughter can ever just relax into a "routined" lifestyle. Not that it is wrong
if she doesn't, but just a simpler way of living...get what I mean? How does this fair with all of you at this point in your recovery after
having been clean/sober for several yrs.? Thursday is our daughter's first year sobriety birthday, we are so happy for her.

As always, thanks for listening...
Re: Does a "routine life" seem difficult after years of addiction?
.........(for me)......it's very difficult to enjoy life at regular speed.
I feel like a prisoner of every moment.
......or hurrying, to go nowhere... I'm in shock from things I saw.
and feel perpetually alone.
Re: Does a "routine life" seem difficult after years of addiction?
are you saying you cannot really relax? -

That living at a "normal" pace (oh how I hate that word - normal - I am always seeking normal as a good ACA always will do)... makes you in a sense edgy - ?
Do you think it is the aftermath of speed or ADHD?

I wonder how many clean speedfreaks feel the way you describe....
Re: Does a "routine life" seem difficult after years of addiction?
I read almost every post that is posted on a daily basis. But I don't respond to all of them or even to most of them. Most of the posts have been re-cycled over and over. But there was something strangely genuine, sincere and maybe a bit naïve, and sweet in your offering and your question. Mlg, I know You've been on this website for awhile. You are very kind, sincere, and I sense you are a very genuine person. I'm also a parent, a grandparent, and in love with my family. So I feel and sympathize with some of your frustrations. That said - here we go. "Routine" is a very dangerous word to people who are attracted to drug addiction. "Routine" is often interpreted as, boring, dull, trite, impotent, dumb, square or straight, unenlightened, and totally uncool. Drug addicts can't wrap their brains around the concept of "routine." We almost always require intense and incredible amounts of stimulation. We're wired differently. We're wired to respond to chaos, drama, stimulation, and high levels of random energy charge unpredictability. We get our jollies on the bizarre. We can't tolerate "Normal." Ya know what? As far as we're concerned, "NORMAL" is a setting on the washing machine. But after chasing the ultimate anti-depressant, SPEED, for years, we begin to realize the phoniness of methamphetamine induced excitement, stimulation, horniness, and boredom destruction. It takes awhile, but many of us in recovery seek those things such as: "driving on the
country roadside, finally getting home, relaxing and eating dinner with my husband while watching evening news." But we can't forget the thrills of thinking about the Gang of grizzly bears having an all-out gang war just around the corner of that "Country Roadside" or "Realxing and eating Dinner" after a bong of the finest homegrown herb, and the evening news with earthquakes, hurricanes, NASCAR Victories, Motorcycle gangs, Olympic drama, and the latest re-run of COPS. At least - for me. Am I alone ?
Re: Does a "routine life" seem difficult after years of addiction?
Sfj, never.

I dunno.

I'm damned I think.

...alot of adhd peeps feel that way, in fact most.

I thought almost all the speed freaks were, that have'nt had time to forget things are seemingly slow
compared to they way we were. I get my jollies on the bizarre...*blushes* ...I'll admit it.

.... LMAO!
Re: Does a "routine life" seem difficult after years of addiction?
This is a very real concern of mine too. My addict has 6 months clean on the 19th of this month. He has been home with us for 3 weeks. He keeps saying how much he loves the 'normalcy' of home.

Yet he is up and upper. When I say that, what I mean is, he is not going through the depression a lot of you talk about here. He is usually really up beat. Oh he has his moments of overwhelming stress, but for the most part, he is very positive about all of his clean time and recovery.

At other times he is really up. He is so happy he is almost uncontrollable. And it is during these times that he seems so uneasy almost. It is like he is bored and he wants everyone else around him (his family) to get up and move around and do something with him.

I know some of you will say that he is high.....actually he almost acts high.....but I know that he is not. He never leaves home....never. And when he does it is with one of us. He has cut off all contact with his past 'friends' (I use that term loosely). He is active in his recovery. He eats like he is starving in Africa. He sleeps....a lot.....every night. And he is so focused. He works constantly and he is a very focused worker when sober. When he is high.....he will work on the same thing for hours and never get anywhere.

I swear I think he is ADHD.

He just seems so unsettled and bored sometimes and I worry that it is the lifestyle with all the drama that he will miss the most. We literally have no drama in our lives and he says he loves that but he will also be very quick to tell you that he was just as addicted to the lifestyle as the drug. That scares me......every day.

But like all of you say...his actions are what counts and his actions are spot on what I would want them to be. I couldn't ask for anything more than what he is doing. I just expected him to be more depressed at this stage and I expected him to at least try me and he is not.

Maybe SFJ was right when he said that after years of chasing this demon they begin to chase the routine, normal life. That is what my addict says he is doing........he says he just wants a boring, normal life.....every day for the rest of his life.
I can only hope that he continues this mind set.
Re: Does a "routine life" seem difficult after years of addiction?
.....strange coincidence

I was having this exact conversation with my son yesterday. (His first clean day was December 29, 2005 - the day after his arrest for manufacture.)

I asked him if life was surprisingly "easy" to live and his reply was, "yes, since I have stopped running from it".

That conversation happened in the car. We has just gone to lunch and he asked if we could stop by the probation office to get his out of state pass. He will be getting married next month and for their honeymoon, they plan to just travel (with no agenda) until they reach the redwood forest in California.

Although arrest, probation and permission to travel may not seem "normal or routined" to others.... it is his "normal" and he is quite content with his life now.

Is it possible that your daughter is just "test driving" her new "normal" life by trying things she didn't get to do in her using years? Maybe she is just trying to find "her version of normal" right now.

....if only we would call it peace in our lives and not boredom
Re: Does a "routine life" seem difficult after years of addiction?
I don't think young people, addict or not, tend to be settled down quickly, no?

Yes, there are exceptions. I have seen some young people locally who already seem focused and know what they want upon graduating high school.

At one year clean/sober, I was still nuttier than a fruitcake, always in motion!

You said: However, it seems she is still and maybe forever will be sort of unsettled, like on the go, changing living places, trying this and that. Alanon/Naranon teaches us to focus on self, not the addict. Maybe you're different than me, but I know when I start sliding one foot into the future, I usually evoke emotions/thoughts that are not pertinent in the least to the moment in front of me, and in reality, that is all we have - the moment in front of us.

One year clean is a huge accomplishment for your daughter, and I assure you, she is leaps and bounds ahead of where I was at that point.

On the other hand, one year is just a beginning. Let go of expectations. Years of using and skewed behaviors/attitudes are NOT going to iron out in a mere year.

We addicts all progress at our own rates in recovery.

Put the focus back on self, and put your faith in a higher power.
Re: Does a "routine life" seem difficult after years of addiction?
I reflected on this post some more last night, and wanted to add to it today.

I think I started to settle down into a more normal routine/lifestyle probably around 7-8 years clean/sober. A lot of my contentment in living a more 'normal' life has also been due to growing older, and into my 40's and now at age 50.

It's been interesting in my Human Relations class to learn, at one time, emotional development was defined only into the early 20's, but is now defined into the later years (70+years).

We go through stages in life, and we tend to re-evaluate our lives at the beginning and during each of these phases.

As with any new behavior/attitude, it takes practice over a long period of time before it starts to become a part of our being.

So many ways that I have learned to cope over the years, the ways I now deal with my emotions (in a healthy way) are second nature for me, but that was due to years of practice and walking through the discomfort of change.

I hope that makes some kind of sense!

See also:

Question about getting back to living / working

How do you go from dope friends to real friends?

How do you build a new life without Meth?

Things I no longer carry since getting clean

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