When people are engaged in active addiction, life tends to be filled with single-minded fixations. We’re addicted to drugs or alcohol, we can become fixated on our partners, we can obsess over finances to the point of near insanity, and the list goes on. And, generally speaking, we lose touch with the things that bring us the most joy, replacing our passions with drugs, alcohol, people, and material possessions, among other things.
Entering into recovery means something different for every person who chooses the path, but no matter what, it tends to involve a shift in perspective and a new way of living. After all, it seems counterintuitive that we go about living our lives using the same logic and reasoning we turned to when we decided that drugs and alcohol were solutions to our problems.
There’s a lot that happens to us when we get sober. For starters, we begin to feel our emotions, often for the first time in our lives, as many of us bottled up our feelings from childhood well before we began drinking or using. So, in a sense, we must learn how to feel again, and we also should be discovering (or re-discovering) the things that make us happy without needing to get drunk or high. So, how and where do we even begin?
Remember, recovery is a one-day-at-a-time endeavor, so just take it easy. Start by simply congratulating yourself for the small wins (e.g., you stayed sober today! And, ahem, this is actually a big win). Keep in mind that you don’t need to turn your whole life around in the first week, or the first year, or ever, really. That said, you can begin to bring joy back into your life immediately.
Start by being open and curious. Try approaching each day with a beginner’s mind, much like you did when you were a kid. If you see or hear or read something new, try digging a little deeper to get more information. Maybe you’re having a conversation with your uncle Jack who you used to think was a little too much of a space nerd for you. Perhaps he’s talking to you about a newly discovered constellation in the Milky Way that you actually consider interesting. And, maybe this time, you decide to stop pretending like you’re too cool for Uncle Jack and ask him about this cool new discovery in our very own galaxy. While you may not have an Uncle Jack and you probably don’t think you’re too cool for any of your uncles, you hopefully get the idea here. Just be open. Then, watch how life unfolds and slowly but steadily gets bigger and better.
Can you remember the times in your childhood when you did actually feel joy? What were you doing? What were your hobbies? Children generally know how to enjoy themselves without grownups telling them how to be happy. They just spontaneously do what they’re drawn to. Maybe it was painting, playing music, playing sports, traveling the world, going camping, none of the above, or all of the above. Whatever you loved to do that your mom or dad or teachers couldn’t tear you away from, do those things. Replace unhealthy habits like drinking or doing drugs with positive habits like surfing or playing guitar.
By finding or rediscovering your passions, you’re moving toward better well-being and tapping into an inner love that connects you with your true spirit. This enables you to live a life of joy and purpose. And, the more you live in this space of joy, fulfillment, and purpose, the less you’re going to want to pick up and drink or use again. Because you’re filling that void you had in active addiction or alcoholism with things that enable you to live with authenticity, from the heart. This is where it’s at. Nearly everyone who’s a die-hard addict will never find what they think they’re looking for at the bottom of a bottle or an empty bag of powder. True happiness, as cliché as it sounds, comes from within. And, it starts with having a real passion for life.
So, take your recovery one day at a time, and enjoy it if you can. It’s a marathon, not a race, and the more we can savor each day while remembering to keep that passion for life alive, the more we’ll fall in love with sobriety. It’s an awesome journey.
Kembali Recovery Center is Here for you
If you or someone you love is struggling to get sober or stay clean, Kembali Recovery Center can help. Contact us today to learn more about our recovery program. Remember, you’re not alone and you never have to do this by yourself.