When you were using drugs and alcohol, life might have seemed more exciting. You were with a crazy group of friends that didn’t live by normal society rules and they weren’t a slave to the 9 to 5. You lived free and had fun all day and night, right? Not really–you were only free until you needed that next hit or that next drink.
It’s convenient to forget all the times you were dope sick or desperate for a drink or drug. You may not remember that time you got caught stealing so you could get money for drugs to get high. Maybe you don’t remember stealing from your own family or watching them cry every time they visited with you. You might even forget how cold you were living on the streets. Woo-hoo, good times.
You may be glossing over the negative to remember “the good old days,” and it’s common in early recovery to suddenly feel bored with a “normal” life. Where’s the excitement when you’re not running from the police? Where’s the comradery with fellow addicts? Let’s hope it’s gone forever, but you need something to take its place and help fill the hours. Otherwise, you may go back to using just to find a cheap thrill. This too shall pass but you can help it along with the right strategy.
Stop Romanticizing That Lifestyle
Rock ‘n roll is one of many industries that have glamorized being an addict or junkie. Think of Kurt and Courtney, Sid and Nancy, or the likes of Janis Joplin or Amy Winehouse. It’s so glamorous that only one of them is still alive. You first need to get your mindset straight that your former life wasn’t in any way glamorous. You may know that, but it’s important to remember the bad things that happened when you were using. Don’t lie to yourself by thinking you’re missing out on good times. You aren’t.
Finding a Hobby
The most obvious thing to do to avoid boredom is trying to find a hobby. Ideally, there is something you always wanted to try. If not, start trying different things. If you’re not sure where to start, know that you may need a few attempts to find the right thing for you. You may find you enjoy things like making pottery or playing tennis. You might try a hobby that you can potentially grow into a business someday, like sewing or jewelry-making. If your state has a cottage food industry, you can look into baking goods and selling them at a farmers’ market. The point is, all the details of the hobby and a business you start with it will occupy your mind and your hands.
Join a Gym
Working out and exercising gives you a healthy boost and you can make friends while doing it. Even better, join an aerobics class where you’ll meet people. You’d be surprised how quickly you can bond with a stranger when you’re both struggling to get through a tough workout. You’d also be surprised at how much better you start feeling as you get healthier, but don’t discount the social benefits of working out with others in the gym setting.
If you’re trying to maintain social distancing, look for interactive fitness classes online. They are becoming more common as people look for an alternative to in-person fitness but still want interaction with like-minded individuals. It could be a great alternative for you.
Write in Your Journal or Write a Book About Your Experience
You probably started a journal when you were in rehabilitation but hopefully, you maintained that practice into recovery. Why not take it a step farther? Journaling can be good for examining your emotions and actions, but have you ever considered just writing down your story? It doesn’t matter if you ever publish it but you may discover you have a love of and knack for writing. Believe me, writing can fill a lot of those empty hours. Give it a try.
If you just want to get out of your head for a while and reflect on the struggles of everyday people, try volunteering. You can try volunteering at a homeless shelter or with the geriatric population in a nursing facility. It’s often enough just to sit and read stories to people who may be bed-bound and unable to enjoy many of the things they used to. Volunteering brings with it a feeling of self-worth and satisfaction in doing something that brings others joy. You may also benefit from gaining insight and bits of wisdom from someone older and wiser.
Likewise, when you see the problems facing the homeless population, volunteering with them can make you appreciate the positive things in your life and can help you develop more gratitude. Either way, everyone wins.
One of the most common things you hear from those in recovery is how bored they are after getting sober. As time goes on, you’ll learn to replace your old habits with more fun activities, but it’s hard at first. You may feel isolated and have to form new friendships and new social circles, but exploring a common interest can be a wonderful bonding experience to make new, sober friends. It can be difficult to find a hobby you love to replace your old habits, but give it time and be willing to try new things so you can find the right thing. Everlast Recovery Center knows how hard this can be. In addition to homelike surroundings, we offer holistic healing therapies you may want to pursue when you’re in recovery. You may continue your yoga practice or hiking in nature. We support you through the whole inpatient process in our Riverside, California facility, and we extend that treatment into aftercare once you go home. Call us today and learn how we can help at 866-DETOX-25, (866-338-6925).