The words “happy, joyous, and free” are said quite frequently in the rooms of recovery meetings. However, what are they referring to? It seems simple enough– we find happiness in sobriety, our lives become filled with joy, and we are free from the chains of addiction. However, the happiness, joyousness, and freedom that we experience in sobriety are much deeper than that. Our concept of happiness was often skewed when we were caught in the cycle of addiction. We confused the fleeting pleasures of intoxication with happiness. There are two forms of happiness: eudaimonic and hedonic. Hedonic happiness arises from pleasurable experiences: food, sex, alcohol, drugs, etc. Our concept of happiness in addiction was entirely hedonic. We wasted our time searching for the next momentary pleasure. Happiness in sobriety is not the same sort of pleasure we experiences during our time in active addiction. There certainly are pleasurable experiences that we enjoy, but our happiness is not contingent on the external. Rather, we begin to shift into the other form of happiness, known as eudaimonic happiness. Eudaimonic happiness arises from life satisfaction and is derived from life experiences and actions. Eudaimonic happiness can’t be found in a bottle or pill. Rather, it arises from life experience and actions. According to The Brain Flux, “Purpose and meaning in life, flourishing, growth, and self-actualization are all concepts that are related to, or a part of, eudaimonic happiness.” It takes more work, but is much deeper and longer lasting than momentary hedonic pleasure. We begin to appreciate life, and from this state of deep gratitude and well-being, joy arises. Freedom is another wonderful gift we are given in sobriety. We are free from physical dependence to drugs and alcohol, but we also gain a new sense of freedom– we become free from the negativity we have created for ourselves. The longer practice the spiritual principles of recovery, the more we begin to find that we are free from all the negative thought patterns that dominated us in addiction. Anger, resentment, sadness, anxiety, and fear all begin to slip away from us and we begin to know a new sense of freedom and happiness that we had never thought possible.
Your story can become one of happiness, joyousness, and freedom in sobriety. You can make the courageous decision to seek help now and begin building a life of serenity and peace of mind. Oceanfront Recovery, a substance use disorder and dual diagnosis treatment center in the heart of Laguna Beach, utilizes a multifaceted approach led by a diverse clinical team to support clients’ self efficacy, autonomy, and self awareness in recovery. For information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777