It is healthy to take a day off once a week. It is important to take a rest from work but in 2017 it is also important to take a day off from everything we do that adds stress to our lives.
We have talked about learning what negative emotions or behaviors lead back to addiction. Now it is helpful to understand how good activities “done in excess” also lead back to addiction. For example: we have a person (eating in a healthy way for 15 days) increasing their exercise program. This is highly recommended behavior. But if after 6 straight days of running 2 miles per day they run 3 miles on Sunday to really up the ante. Then they felt really charged up so they decide to do a little extra work to get ahead financially. But 45 minutes into the work their friend asks them if they still want to play a bit of pool. They say “just give me a few minutes and I will be done. An hour later they realize their buddy went out.
They next day our overachiever gets up feeling very tired. One mistake at work turns into two. When they get home they are hoping to get some support from their buddy. But 10 seconds into the phone call you realize they are still a bit miffed about being blown off yesterday.
This leads to enough overindulgence to make Tuesday just as bad a day as Monday was.
Let’s do a count of the # of staying clean commandments that were broken. #1 even though running is a great way to help stay clean. After 6 days (Okay for some of us after one day) resting for a day was in order. Commandment #2 broken – people are more important than fighting for a few extra dollars (if you have enough for basic necessities). Commandment #3 broken – stay moderate in all things even if they are good. Commandment #4 broken – God says take a day off. It is shocking how much easier it is to avoid addiction when we always do things Gods way.
Commandment #5 broken – call your sponsor or someone who can help you (or at least distract you for a while) when you know you are in trouble.
List your positive behaviors which you have done “in excess” in the past. Things like games, too much work, TV, Sports etc. We overdo because we don’t focus on moderation enough. We keep going because we are not content with our life. It is better to “be content” with a small house, an average job and a regular life than having a mansion, a high paying job and an attitude of “I have to fight to get more, more, more.” We also need to be content with the amount of pleasure we try to have today. Todays “extra” pleasure is tomorrow’s disaster. If we are not content with todays “moderate” pleasures” we will have destruction as well as less pleasures later in the week/month.
Pray every day – Father, take away my __________ and help me to be content.
Pray every day – Father, take away my __________ and help me to be moderate in all things.
“If your hand offends you, cut it off“(Matt 5:30). What He is saying is to cut off the source of your addiction or sin. The source is not the event, it is what leads to the event. Examples of sources are: daydreaming about great food that you ate in the past, continuing to watch TV shows which glorify food, still hanging out with people who promote bad health or excess, moping around saying that you can’t do the one thing you love the most.
At this point you are starting to be aware of the destruction, now put in the work to think about new things. Put forth effort to do new things. Be more aware of when you start to skate down a slippery path and be proud of yourself when you turn it around. Get mad at yourself when you say “I’m so tired of planning healthy low cal food.” Because with planning your life if going to be a great story a year from now because that is how you take the steel grip of addiction to the fire and start to melt it.