After experiencing the artificial euphoria of drugs and alcohol for so many years, it may feel challenging for you to discover genuine happiness in your sobriety. Once you become accustomed to masking your true feelings in a haze of substance misuse, you can eventually forget what it feels like to be truly fulfilled in life. However, happiness is an integral part of recovery, so you will have to learn how to find it for yourself.
Can You Be Happy After Drug or Alcohol Addiction?
As you pursue addiction recovery, it’s critical to remember you will not be the same person after drug rehab that you were before undergoing the process. Therapy will give you a new perspective on the underlying causes of your addiction, and you will be working on addressing those. One of the tried-and-true ways to discover joy in recovery is to focus on making positive lifestyle choices that will help preserve your sobriety and reinforce your decision to turn away from your old, unhealthy habits for good.
Finding hobbies like exercising, cooking or volunteering for causes you believe in can jumpstart your creativity and curiosity, while keeping you moving forward and avoiding pitfalls. Your goal in having these hobbies is not only to have fun, but also to make sure you are too busy enjoying new and productive things to have time to backslide into the temptations of drug and alcohol addiction.
Find Your Recovery Community
Spending time with your old drug or drinking buddies might be a slippery slope that holds you back from your sobriety goals. Instead, join a recovery group like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. There, you’ll meet other people who have experienced similar struggles and challenges, which will help you feel less isolated on your journey. Once your recovery has progressed enough, you will be able to sponsor and mentor someone else, which will help motivate you as well.
Set Measurable Goals
Another way to realize happiness in recovery is to set specific, achievable goals that help you track your progress and feel a sense of accomplishment. By accomplishing these goals, you can improve your outlook on life and begin to feel happier. Consider keeping a journal to measure how far you’ve come. It may initially seem like you haven’t moved forward as much as you’d like, but going back through your notes can help give you a sense of perspective and gratitude.
The addiction recovery process will help you understand yourself better. While you may have some lingering shame and guilt over things you did in active addiction, you will need to move past those feelings. One of the best ways to do so is to set aside time every day for self-care. Ideas to incorporate into your routine include:
- Yoga or meditation
- Writing in your journal
- Taking a relaxing bath
- Sipping a cup of hot herbal tea
- Drawing or painting
Self-care activities look different for everyone. What matters is that you are setting aside time to reduce your stress and slow down the pace of life for a little while.
What Brings You Joy?
In addiction, you can lose parts of yourself, and part of the recovery process involves reclaiming those pieces of your personality. Take a positive step toward freeing yourself from the burdens of substance abuse by reaching out to us at Vista Taos Recovery Center. Our family-owned, nationally accredited rehab in beautiful Taos, New Mexico, is the perfect setting for starting your recovery on the right foot.