In active addiction, our world became smaller and smaller as we retreated into isolation, shutting out family and friends. We let go of the hobbies and activities we once enjoyed. It’s often said that in the beginning, our drinking and drugging was fun; then it was some fun, and at the end, no fun. Some go a step further and add that, at our bottom, it was misery. Every day was a fight for survival.
When we make the decision to give up our addictions, we wonder how we will fill our empty days and nights. If we’re no longer drinking and drugging, we ask, what will we do with ourselves?
We start by taking life one day at a time. We learn to practice prayer and meditation, becoming mindful of our thoughts and feelings as they unfold. We soon begin to make connections with other addicts and alcoholics in our treatment group or 12-step fellowship, forming friendships with people who get us.
As we continue to work with our counselor or therapist, we begin to identify goals for ourselves, and we begin making plans again. We begin to rebuild trust among our family, friends and coworkers. We learn the skills to cope with life on life’s terms, without drugs or alcohol.
And then, a miracle happens: Hope returns. The realization may happen all at once or over a period of time, but when it comes, we understand that we are beginning to live again, instead of merely surviving. We are now beginning to thrive.
We start to enjoy our old hobbies again, and we experience the joy of finding new ones. We become more physically active, trying sports and activities we’d only dreamed of in our old life. We find we have a new curiosity about the world, and life becomes full of “ah-hah” moments.
If we had lost our job as a result of our addiction, we become employable once more. We might discover a new line of work we’d never considered before, and with it, a brand-new circle of colleagues. We might choose to go back to school, even if that once seemed like an unattainable goal. We find that our greatest joy is in being of service to our fellow human beings.
We begin each day humbled, hopeful, and excited at the promise of what lies ahead. We realize that life is not a sentence to be endured, but an adventure to be savored.
Treatment changes your story of addiction. When you change your story, you change your life. Oceanfront Recovery offers men’s addiction treatment programs and exclusive treatment tracks for executives. Call us today for information on our Orange County programs: 877.279.1777