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Recovery and freedom from Compulsive Behavior

Compulsive behavior in early recovery is common. When you decide to enter into treatment it’s not for OCD. You usually enter treatment to stop using a specific chemical or two but through the years of abuse compulsive behaviors accumulated without you paying much attention.

Your goal when strung out on heroin was to get more drugs and keep from getting sick.

When abstinence becomes a reality sometimes unbeknownst to the recovering addict new compulsive behaviors develop.

The recovering addict never meant to change the life they lived entirely upon making this binding agreement with abstinence, but for happiness and quality of life to increase the recovering addict must improve in all areas of their life.

These are the changes that give one control of life and personal freedom.


It’s pertinent that a person takes daily inventory and understand where areas of life are starting to slip away.

New character defects, compulsive behavior in early recovery, and negative aversions begin to take form as routine causing a detrimental effect on the quality of life.

It’s in this daily inventory that the recovering is allowed the freedom to choose not to use drugs and alcohol, call the dealer, believe their parole officer is out to get them and to respect the crippling effects of addiction.

Recovery is always possible, and a person must realize that a new way of living is pertinent to happiness and success.

Pay attention to compulsive behavior in early recovery so you live an astonishing life.

Excessive compulsive behaviors start to form when a person new to recovery is not paying attention to a new way of life without illicit chemicals.


Some excessive behaviors that can lead to compulsions are as follows:

  • Working all the time
  • Abusing prescription drugs
  • Using illicit substances that the addict did not enter treatment to stop abusing
  • Increased consumption of caffeinated drinks
  •  Extreme exercising
  • Take up cigarette smoking or increased
  • Overspending
  • Consuming to an excess sugary foods
  • Gambling
  • Compulsive masturbation
  • Unsafe sexual practices

it’s possible that you might be experiencing OCD without even knowing it. There are many behaviors that can make up OCD.

Please take a moment and take an inventory of your behavior to see what you might behavior you might be experiencing repeatedly.

Make a list and talk about these behaviors with your therapist, recovery coach, sponsor, or at a meeting.

Maybe you can relate to this story with a similar example from your past. It sometimes happens in early recovery that recovering addicts tend to find new habits or detrimental unhealthy habits.

During your days of early recovery; stress begins to build up. Boredom and the new way of living just are not making the addict happy.

In the past when actively using the addict lived on the edge.
Always testing life.

Sometimes just getting well isn’t enough. Have you ever stop doing dope after you got over the sickness?

Maybe you just didn’t shoot enough heroin to cure the sickness swelling up inside.

Your choice was to fix-up an extra five bags after being warned of the dope’s potency. You had to feel extra nice.

No regard for reducing harm you used another’s cooker or needle Without regard to making it safer by bleaching it out.

What does this say about your character?

Maybe you decided your life was meaningless, so you welcome death to the door.

Now that you’re in recovery you might feel you’re doing much better.

But do you still hold dear to the thought of your life being meaningless?
have you talked with others about your fixation with death?

Do you still live life to an extreme?

Some other signs might be

  • Driving unusually fast. Disregarding traffic rules of safety.
  • Maybe you’ve become an all-out adrenaline junkie. Living on the edge isn’t ridiculous or wrong, but not taking necessary safety precautions.

Another extreme example regards sexual activity.

Choosing to have sexual encounters with multiple partners without using safe sexual practices is another to gauge that you have a death fixation.

All of these behaviors can lead to feelings of regret, guilt, embarrassment, and ultimately- relapse.

Of course, this is all extreme examples, but its real. Safety needs to be your priority

This theory can be explained just as easily an addict compulsively eating cookie and cake and other deserts and as weight gain increases guilty thoughts increase and active drug use seems best for the addict because of guilt, shame, and a dietary necessity.

Psychologists call this behavior as “abstinence violation syndrome.”

This is when you’re working a program to stay sober and other behaviors cause you temporally lapse into old routines and use.

Engaging in these activities bring on high-risk for relapse.
Please pay attention to patterns of unwanted behaviors in recovery.

Know what triggers EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL cravings in early recovery.


The addict needs to prepare for times like these. Knowing how to balance your life, prevent relapse, and sharing with a new network of peers help keep the addict healthy in recovery.

Daily personal inventories keep the addict warned of dangers that are possibly lurking within his life.

Keep exposure to triggers at a minimum. Stay away from the people places and activities you associated with substance use.

Stop thought techniques are great ways to keep the addict healthy.
Some ways in which an addict can stop thoughts are by using:

  • Relaxation and deep breathing.
  • Snapping- snapping is when you place a rubber band around your wrist and snap it when you start to have a thought that could lead to a craving and then to use. I have used this technique to stop several unwanted behaviors in the past. It works.
  • Diversion techniques work too. When I cannot get thoughts out of my head I start other activities such as: get up and go for a walk, drop to the floor and do push-ups or other strenuous activity to get new blood flowing, reading a book, or slowly talking myself out of the idea.
  • Consequential thinking is when you play that whole tape until the end. The thought that is causing the craving for the compulsive behavior can lead to nothing else but tragedy, unwanted situations or stress.
  • Visualization-this is when you see yourself in any place that is better than the place the thought you are having will bring you. See yourself surrounded by the new happy life you want to realize Visualize the life of success and substance free.


Are you taking the time to pay attention to your behaviors in early recovery.

Change comes slowly but pushing through unwanted feelings and thoughts creates an ecosystem that thrives on personal growth and sobriety.

Please start taking and inventory daily, weekly, or monthly to address unwanted behaviors starting to plague your recovery.