“You can’t make positive choices for the rest of your life without an environment that makes those choices easy, natural, and enjoyable.”—Deepak Chopra
Recovery from addiction is a long, long process. And a hard one too. There are some that succeed, and there are some that fail. The struggle with drug or alcohol addiction is all-consuming, recovery is the same. Your sanity, your serenity, your sobriety will all be severely tested. Initially, on your path to abstinence, they will be tested every single day. Does it sound difficult? Yes. It is. Does it sound like a miserable existence? No, it doesn’t have to be the same as the life of an addict—it doesn’t have to be miserable. That is your choice. The life of an addict is filled with bad habits and dysfunctional acts on a regular basis. Therefore, the life of a recovering addict can be marked by new, healthier good habits. In this article, you will find 5 happy and positive habits to aid and support you through recovery from substance/alcohol abuse. By following these, adopting them as your own, you will give yourself the foundation of a long, successful and enjoyable recovery.
1. Be with Positive People
During your weeks or months of rehab, you will be taught the same invaluable lesson I learned: In order to change your life, you need to change your actions, your thinking and the people around you. It is imperative to maintain your new sobriety that you do not return to those people, those places, and those things that were part of your substance abuse. They are your triggers. If you feel like returning, do so at your own risk as you will undoubtedly trigger a relapse. Furthermore, there will be people there that may actually set back your recovery, offering no emotional support to you whatsoever. You don’t need people like that in your life right now. That negativity? It will do you no good.
So who do you really need at this time? Without a doubt, those loved ones that were there for you, supporting you when you made the decision to enter rehab, who were with you through your withdrawal and, during the time you spent there, remained available to you. These are positive people in your life, those you can really connect with. Another very good idea is seeking out new friends if you find it a little hard you could try one of the following:
- Support groups
- 12 Steps fellowship meetings
- Group therapy
Never forget the other addicts you met while in rehab. As long as they remain sober as you do, they can be a great support, a constant source of camaraderie through the shared experience of rehab.
Above all, make sure you are with positive-minded people. Their optimism will be contagious.
2. Remember Your Strengths
The basis of most recovery programs for addicts is the 12 Step Program which, among other valuable lessons teaches the importance of the “Moral Inventory.” This is where we conduct a full moral inventory of ourselves; it’s our starting point, from where we begin working and improving ourselves as individuals. For many, it’s a challenging and difficult prospect, looking inside yourself so acutely and directly. Many choose to reflect too much on their failures and on their weaknesses. That is a big mistake—dwelling on such things will make you miserable and is not a positive thing to do.
Focus instead on the strengths you have, the best parts of your character, your talents and abilities. These are your building blocks to a person beyond the addict that you were. I can assure you, you will have some of these:
- Capacity for love
And the above are just a few of many positive qualities you certainly have. So, be positive and write your list.
3. Live in the Moment
Let’s now look at “mindfulness meditation.” Taking the time to reflect, in a peaceful way about how you are feeling at each precise moment of your day, or week, is a very positive habit to get. Giving yourself this check-up regularly will improve your self-awareness which is essential for those in recovery. You will soon notice how far you’ve come. Additionally, by doing so, you will find positivity easier to achieve.
4. Avoid Stress
This is always an exceptionally good thing to do for recovering addicts—limiting your exposure to stress and the problems it may bring. I would recommend doing the following proactive, personal changes:
- Your health and sobriety come before anything else
- Get away from negative people
- Learn to say “No”
- Slow down. You can’t do it all at once
- Learn techniques for controlling stress, like exercise
5. Find Some Fun
As an addict, you know the abuse of drugs or alcohol doesn’t equate to fun. Find new and healthy ways to enjoy yourself. Not sure what to do? Here you go:
- Find new hobbies like painting or doing exercise
- Museums/art galleries
- Class enrolment
- Attend an event you would never have previously, for example, a rodeo, dog show, exhibition, etc.
- Volunteering – giving back is a seriously rewarding activity for someone in recovery
Sit down and list some things you would like to try or that hold your attention, you will have a lot of new activities in no time.
Be Grateful for What You Have Now
Your addiction had its consequences, that is not new. However, by practicing the 5 happy and positive habits provided above, you will soon learn to be grateful for what you have today, at this moment. Remember, be with positive people, remember your strengths, live in the moment, avoid stress and find yourself some fun. Can you think of another happy, positive habit not listed? Feel free to comment below with your suggestions and experiences.
You are still here and you have another chance at the life you wish for.
I’m Carl Towns a 28-year-old wanna-be writer; I am also a recovering addict in the path of self-discovery. My goal is to learn as many things as possible and to seize every single moment I live, pretty much trying to make up for all that I missed on the years I was lost in drugs and alcohol (among other things). I’m in love with tech, cars and pretty much anything that can be found online.