Anyone who has been lost in an addiction knows the feeling of losing interest in life.
Addiction takes away a passion for living. Things that you once enjoyed get tossed aside as addiction consumes your thoughts and actions. Once you begin recovery, you find that you have more hours of the day to work with to create a meaningful life. In fact, finding meaning and joy in life is essential to recovery. So, where do you begin?
Get moving – One of the best things to do in early recovery is get some physical exercise. Try different things until you find your niche. Any type of movement is healthy. Getting your body moving helps to clear the mind and bring you back to center. Try activities such as walking, hiking, running, aerobics, yoga, biking, swimming, or joining an exercise class. Not only does exercise build back the muscle tone, but it also makes us feel better because it releases endorphins in our brain.
Music – Listening to music you enjoy is relaxing and enriching. Finding tunes that you enjoyed way back before your addiction began is especially rewarding. Music can bring back memories of better times, before your life was filled with the pain of addiction. Because music is so powerful, you’ll want to avoid music that triggers cravings or sparks memories of your addiction.
Old hobbies – We often forget about the things that we used to enjoy doing. In recovery, maybe you can return to an old hobby that gave you a feeling of accomplishment. It could be anything from knitting to stamp collection to arts and crafts. As long as the activity does not harm yourself or anyone else, it’s on the table.
Meditation and prayer – These are essential for spiritual growth. Many struggle with this aspect of recovery. Remember that spirituality does not mean believing in organized religion. It is connecting with your true self. Meditation comes in many forms. It can be simply sitting still for five minutes and clearing your mind, mindful breathing, mantra meditation, practicing mindfulness, or transcendental meditation. There are more than 23 forms of meditation. Find what works for you.
Writing – Early recovery is often filled with overwhelming emotions. Although it is good to pick up the phone and talk with your sponsor or others in the program about troubling emotions, it is also good to have a tool of your own for times when no one picks up the phone. Writing is cathartic. Someone do you wrong? Write them a letter. Feeling terrible that you did someone wrong? Write them and tell them how you feel. Even if the letters are never sent, writing them helped you process your feelings. Seeing your thoughts on paper may give you a new perspective. It is a good idea to date your writing so you can look back in time to see your growth!
Finding things to do that we are passionate about is the key to a happy life. We get clean and sober so that we can enjoy life. If we are living a life in misery, hating our job, always working, and not ever doing anything that we enjoy, that is a recipe for relapse. Write a list of things that you have always wanted to do. Now that you have time and a clear mind, work on getting these things crossed off of your list. Not only does this give a feeling of accomplishment, but it may also lead you to new people who will enrich your life in ways you never dreamed possible.
In addiction, you lost your sense of purpose. Finding that purpose and rekindling your passions leads to a rewarding life.