Monday, August 8, 2011


It has come to my attention, rather abruptly this past weekend, that my life, recovery and emotional stability are based solidly on routine. There are certain ways I do things, certain things I do on specific days, and certain things I eat.
I wouldn’t say that routine makes me feel safe, as in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or for that matter, that not following this routine makes me feel unsafe, or threatened. There is no sense of impending doom when such routine is not followed. But there is something oddly comforting about structure. I like the feeling of having a list, and crossing things off that list.
There obviously was a reason I developed a routine to my life, though I’m not sure that reason is still valid. I needed it to keep myself functional through the bad days. Those days when it was hard to even see past the morning, yet alone the entire week. But I have fewer and fewer of those days, with more and more time in between them. So maybe it’s time to re-evaluate the routine with which I guide my life?
Some of this routine is healthy, I know. I’m the type of person that will always favour productivity and accomplishing tasks, and with that comes a certain amount of structure and routine (or just plain old organization). But perhaps it’s okay for me to go grocery shopping on Saturday, instead of Sunday. Or for that matter, Monday. Maybe I don’t need to control every aspect of my job from start to finish, but I can actually learn to delegate some things. Maybe I don’t need to live my life according to the rigid rules of productivity that I have set for myself. Or maybe I do. I’m still learning.
Here is where I need to relax my stubborn desire to run my life by my desires only, and look to others for inspiration. Learning from others is not being defeated and it’s not failing. That is a mantra I will be repeating to myself over and over again, a mantra I’m hoping to fit into my life.

1 comment:

  1. It's interesting you write this as with me I have been wondering recently if there was a link between the need for a routine and the inability to break a cycle of behaviors. For myself there are certain behaviors that when I engage, I follow a routine. A very specific routine. The routine in a way helps to enforce the behavior as it brings comfort, familiarity, and thus ingrains itself as a valid way of doing things.

    When I was in IOP over a year ago I remember having a discussion with my now therapist during a group that if I was in a certain mindset, thought to get certain things... I HAD to fulfill that. I had to go to the grocery store. I had to get the basket. I had to put x, y, and z in the basket. I had to go home. I had to eat x, y, and z in a certain order... then I had to pop out a certain number of pills and take them in a certain number per swallow.

    That once that thought was in my mind, I had to follow that routine.

    I wonder if by breaking smaller routines first (behaviors or not) it would be an empowering thing. Getting rid of popsicles (don't ask) could rid a behavior as it's one of the first steps of the routine...


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