You know how some people live paycheck to paycheck? Well, as an addict, I lived from high to high. The only thing that mattered in between was getting the money I needed to capture that next high. Once I began my recovery, however, I quickly realized that I was suddenly going to have quite a bit of time on my hands. What was I going to do with myself after work and on weekends? It became a real problem until I learned to replace my addiction with a new passion.
Mourning the Loss
Before I was able to find a new passion, I realized that I needed to say goodbye to my addiction. The first thing I did was to identify what I felt I gained from it:
- It helped me deal with my anxiety and depression.
- It boosted my energy and my focus
- It helped me deal with an intolerable situation.
As I went through withdrawal, my therapist encouraged me to mourn my loss. It helped me to fully prepare for the process of getting sober.
Filling the Void
It was only after identifying what I felt I gained from my addiction and saying goodbye to it was I ready to fill in the gaps of my life with some new passions. I thought about what I was interested in before becoming an addict. I remembered that I used to love to go hiking. So I called a friend who was into exercise and asked her to join me. We now go hiking every other Saturday. That wasn’t going to be enough to take up all the extra time I now found on my hands, however. So I picked up some new hobbies I wanted to try, making homemade soaps and starting my own jewelry line. I sell most of what I make at a local flea market each week.
Remembering the Passion
It can be a real struggle to rebuild our lives after addiction. We look for a new path of purpose and meaning. Practical needs, like rebuilding relationships or getting back to work, have to be met. While these things are important, they won’t eliminate cravings for our drug of choice. In order to remember your passion, think back to a time before your addiction. What did you like to do back then? Would you like to resume it again now? What about things you wanted to do back then and never got around to? Ask yourself these questions.
Finding New Passions
Maybe you are not ready to revisit the past. Or maybe the activities you were drawn to back then no longer appeal to you. If so, it is time to make some new discoveries. Just trying something new can be a joyful experience. This is the time to try things that you thought you would never do before. Keep trying until you find your reason for getting up each morning. Here are some ideas:
- Volunteer Work
- An Exercise Program
- Take a Class
- Learn a Craft
- Adopt a Pet
You can also ask a family member or good friend to try an activity with you. That way you can engage in a healthy activity while repairing a relationship at the same time. Whatever activity you choose, you need to find something that you can get excited about, something that will distract you from temptation to use again. One word of caution, however. Be sure you don’t swap your old addiction for a new one. Talk things over with your sponsor to gain a clear perspective. The Oceanfront Recovery Addiction Treatment Program can help you or a loved one with the process of recovery. Our dedicated staff focus on bringing the underlying causes to the surface with a modern and effective recovery program in a safe and comfortable environment. Contact us at Oceanfront Recovery today for a confidential assessment.