How Can I Get Out of My Rut?

stuck in a rut

Table of Contents

Are you feeling like lately you’ve been stuck in a rut? Are you unable to find the energy to break a self-destructive pattern? Maybe you’re just plain old-fashioned bored. Or maybe things have been particularly hard since, say, March of last year? Well, you’re not alone. Everybody feels stuck in a rut at least once in their lives, but usually a lot more often. And these days, most of the country feels stuck in one way or another.

It’s human to feel overwhelmed sometimes. Sadly, sometimes we have a bad day that stretches into a few, or we don’t feel our best for a week or longer. It happens to everyone, but that doesn’t mean we have to just lie down and wait for the clouds to pass. The fact that you’re here asking how to break out of your rut is the best first step toward shaking things up. Don’t lose hope and don’t give up. Let’s take a look at some things we can do to break through our rut once and for all.

Pay Attention

First, it’s helpful to look at how we got stuck in the first place. Have we grown complacent? Ungrateful? Have we let some old bad habits sneak back in and slowly take us over? Even if we’re not drinking or using, there are plenty of negative habits that alcoholics and addicts like us tend to have. Perhaps we are mired in negative thinking, abusing our health, taking things for granted, or just plain old laziness or fear. Any of these things may be signs that we’ve started to rest on our laurels when it comes to our recovery. Have we been skipping meetings? When’s the last time we did 12-Step work with our sponsor? When’s the last time we helped another alcoholic or addict? When’s the last time we helped anyone?

Asking ourselves questions like these isn’t meant to beat ourselves up or make ourselves feel worse. It’s simply investigative. If we can realize and acknowledge some of the healthy habits that we have let slip, it provides us with a pretty easy road map for getting out of our rut — we simply start doing the good things we’ve stopped. If we can identify how we might have gotten to where we are now, we can probably begin to see the path out. We may even learn something about ourselves, our weak spots, and the value of healthy habits that we once underestimated.

A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss

When we’re feeling stuck in our lives, it can seem impossible to gather enough energy to move out of the hole we’re in, but that is exactly what we have to try to do. Negative patterns don’t change on their own — we have to do something about them. At the very least, we need to be willing to have the holding pattern broken. The first question we must ask ourselves is, do I want to get out of my rut? After we’ve answered this honestly, then we can begin to ask how we do it.

The “how,” whatever it is, will almost assuredly require action on our part. But being stuck in a rut can often mean the total loss of energy to do anything about it. How can we deal with this conundrum? Let’s take a simple approach. If we don’t have the energy to take action, we can pray and ask for the energy, ask a friend for help, or meditate on our willingness to find the energy. Our higher power — the source of the power that helped us enter recovery from our deadly disease — is our best bet when considering a source for the energy we’ll need to get out of a deep funk. However small an action we can take, that’s where we start, and we build up from there. No positive action is too small. Any step in the right direction, even a tiny step, is still progress.

Be Willing to Get Yourself Out

This seems obvious, right? “I asked how to get out of my rut, so of course I want out!” But we need to be honest with ourselves. Sometimes we get stuck in patterns because we’re afraid of something new or different. Sometimes it’s because we’re comfortable, and sometimes it’s because we don’t think we deserve anything different or better. Whatever the reason, there was something about this pattern that was good enough to get us stuck in it. Maybe it was just easy, or maybe the other way was too hard. But we need to be honest with ourselves and our sponsors and look at the entire situation through 12-Step work.

That is our best shot at learning from our current situation, getting out of it, and not repeating it in the future. We rededicate ourselves to regular 12-Step work with our sponsors, we get back in meetings, we get back to being of service, we pray and meditate, and we move just a little bit. All of this takes willingness, and it won’t truly work if we resist it. We have to be willing to be changed by the 12-Steps in order for their power to really express itself in our lives. Those who become willing and take action are rarely disappointed by the results.

Alcoholism and addiction are a disease which steals the lives of those who suffer from it. It robs them of their joy, their personality, and their abilities. For years in some cases, it can drag the alcoholic or addict through absolute darkness. Hope is lost and escape seems impossible. Those of us who survive are often left in the wreckage. Luckily for us, there is hope and there is a solution that works. The 12-Step program of spiritual action is designed to produce the necessary psychic change and vital spiritual experience that can bring about freedom from the disease. Help, healing, and recovery are possible for anyone. No matter what your experience in the disease has been like and no matter how many times you have sought help before, Jaywalker Lodge can make the difference. If you are willing and ready to begin your journey with lasting recovery, we are ready to help you. Call us now at (866) 529-9255.


author avatar
Stefan Bate, MA, LAC, CCTP Chief Clinical Officer
Stefan Bate, BA, MA, LAC holds a Master's Degree in Applied Psychology from Regis University and is a Licensed Addiction Counselor in the state of Colorado. Stefan has wide-ranging experience in the field of addiction recovery including: working as a recovery coach, therapist, and program director.

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