Taking the first step towards recovery is a scary one.
Even though you know full well that drugs aren’t the right answer, they’ve been your quick-fix solution for so long that it’s difficult to imagine life without them.
And in truth…
A life in recovery is a life without quick fixes.
Recovery is a long path that can lead you towards a more fulfilling life.
But here’s something you may not know.
The recovery process itself can also be fulfilling. We all tend to think of recovery as grueling. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Not completely.
Here are some tips for living a more fulfilling life in recovery.
Recognize your illusions
Let’s face it. You bought into some illusions that led you down the path of addiction. It’s time to recognize those for what they are.
You may have thought that you needed rugs or alcohol to have fun. Or maybe you thought you needed a substance to numb some pain.
But you should have realized before long that drugs and alcohol only lure you into believing these things long enough to get you hooked. And once that illusion is shattered, it’s too late.
The substance isn’t fun anymore. It isn’t working to numb the pain. But you still need it.
This is the toxic illusion that has drawn you in. And just like a typical trauma bond, you’ve spent longing for the good old days. Even in your last days of using, you feel like you need the drug for the same reasons you started using it. It’s no longer valid, but your brain can’t let go of the illusion.
This part of letting go is about recognizing the substance for what it is. It’s not bringing any positivity into your life – and it never will. Acknowledging this truth can help set you free to live a more fulfilling life.
Look inward for happiness
Finding happiness and self-love in recovery is a long and challenging process. But if you start working on it today, you’ll feel better over time.
The good thing about learning self-love is that it’s not a black and white thing. It’s more like a spectrum. When you first stop using drugs, you’re very low on the self-love spectrum. But if you work on loving yourself, you’ll feel stronger and more confident over time. You don’t have to wait for the day you wake up and ultimately love yourself to be happy. You can find small bits of happiness along the way, and they’ll build as you get better at this self-love thing.
Get out of your comfort zone
At this point, you can’t trust your old patterns. You can expect that your mind will play tricks on you, and your thoughts will deceive you. So autopilot is not your friend.
But here’s the thing about autopilot. It only operates in your comfort zone.
When you get out of your normal routine, you’re actually forcing your mind to engage. You have no idea what’s about to happen, so you have to remain alert and aware. You have to spend more time in the present moment than worrying about the past or future.
Think of this as a clever hack to trick your brain into getting into the right frame of mind.
It’s incredibly difficult to change your thoughts on your own, but it’s easy to trick your mind into focusing on something else. And when you’re finally “out of your own head,” you can start to live a more fulfilling life.
Listen to more music
Music is a powerful tool that many of us should rely on more often. Have you ever felt a song that seems to touch your soul?
We all have.
And you can use that to your advantage. Music can help you quickly access hope and positivity that you didn’t even know were there.
Just be careful about listening to songs that were part of your life when you were using. This could spark a nostalgia that could lead you down the wrong path.
Instead, find new songs that have meaning in your new life. Find songs that give you hope and lead you towards happiness.
Once you find a few, create a playlist you can listen to every day.
Ask for help
Many tools can help us succeed in recovery, but none are as useful as human interaction.
If you feel like you’re struggling, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. If you’re already on the road to recovery, you may find resources in your current addiction treatment program. And if you’re further along in your journey, you may find support from group meetings or sober supports.
The important thing is that you get help from one resource or another.
As you go along your journey, it’s important to remember that recovery is a much more fulfilling path than an addiction will ever be. You may have difficult days in recovery, but you’ll get through them. The further you get from addiction, the more fulfilling your life will become. Hang in there – it really gets better!