One of the scariest and most pervasive thoughts in early recovery is often, “What am I going to do now?”.
In our active using and drinking, we generally experience very little enjoyment. Out life is in shambles. Whether it be our home life, our self care, our careers, our grades in school…we are generally having some hard times. When we use or drink, we exchange all of these small problems for one big problem: finding ways and means to get and use more. Often, our only reprieve from our misery is the euphoria or escape of our substance of choice.
So, when we stop using, what do we have left? How will we experience any joy? We hold on to this, and it is one of the most difficult thought patterns to break.
Lets take a quick look at some things we have to look forward to:
- Building relationships with family and friends
- Regaining interest in old hobbies, and finding new ones
- Natural endorphin release from exercise
- Advancing easier in our careers or education.
- Being present and not anxious about finding ways and means to get/use more
- Music and movies
When newly clean, these things can seem a far reach. However, being clean gives us a unique opportunity to discover and even reinvent ourselves. Have you ever been interested in learning an instrument? Taking a road trip? Woodwork or Blacksmithing? We now have the opportunity, and eventually the financial freedom to pursue our interests. We have so much time and money previously spent on our addictions, that can now be utilized for our benefits.
One of the best things about recovery is the fellowship that exists among those in long term recovery. Those with more clean time are eager to introduce those who are new to the exciting world that awaits them. Lifelong friends and interests are gained.
Recovery is so much more about a total change in thinking that it is about stopping the use of a substance. No one gets clean to be miserable.
Please share with us how you have fun in recovery. If you’re still struggling, what is something you would like to experience or get back to doing?