This here is the “meat” of alternative addiction recovery. You have to take action.
What kind of action?
Positive action. You need to do things that improve your life or help you to grow as a person.
I would start by looking at each area of your life, and look for potential goals you can set. For example, I personally did the following things to push myself to grow in my recovery:
* Got a job.
* Went back to college, finished my degree.
* Started exercising on a regular basis, running 4 times per week.
* Quit smoking cigarettes. This was HUGE for me. A big part of my recovery.
* Got another job, one that was more meaningful and challenging for me.
* Started this website, promoted it, tried to foster community here.
* Got yet another job, even more challenging this time, in teaching others.
Now these were all fairly big goals and accomplishments for me, and they did not all happen at once. In fact this is really a progression over the last ten years or more.
But I think the critical thing is this, and really speaks to how my recovery works and how I try to grow and make progress:
I try to make progress on goals like these every single day. I do not “take a day off” and stop working towards these types of goals. Ever.
Now that might sound a little simplistic but you have to realize that there is a powerful multiplier in there.
Each day is an opportunity. Each day is a gift.
And we get so many of them! Think about a year, that is a really long time if you measure it out in days. Over 300 of them! Think of how much you can accomplish if you work at the same thing every single day!
This is what makes recovery exciting for me. This is also what makes personal growth exciting for me.
For example, ask yourself: “Do I have a goal that is very important to me in my life?”
Then ask yourself: “Would it be possible for me to make progress on that goal each and every day?”
You should be able to answer “yes” to both of those questions. If you can’t, then you can probably do a bit of introspective work and figure out what your big goals are in your life.
Once you have some clear direction, and know what you want out of life, then it is time to get to work. Get busy. You have time and energy in your recovery. If you stopped using drugs and alcohol then I know for a fact that you have extra time and extra energy to burn. That is the gift of recovery. What drugs and alcohol stole from you is now recovered. You are given your life back.
Now, do something with it!
Something positive. Really, this is the whole essence of recovery. You are free, you have been given a gift of freedom, and now you have to use that gift if you are going to remain free from your drug of choice.
If you neglect the gift that you get in recovery then you will get bored, irritable, and frustrated with life, and eventually relapse.
It takes work, effort, and thought to avoid this fate. It takes energy and daily positive action on your part.
Each person has a gift for the world and when they started using drugs or alcohol they got derailed from their mission in life. They were on a path to greatness and addiction sought to destroy that path. Now that you are in recovery you have to get back on that path and push yourself to do great things. If you do not rise to this challenge then you could easily end up relapsing out of sheer boredom.
You were meant to do something positive with your life. Don’t just get sober and sit idle. Go make something happen. What are your dreams? What do you aspire to do?
Who do you most want to help in the world? Who does your heart go out to the most?
Go help them! Go make positive changes.
Make a life of it! Your recovery depends on it.