I believe most recovering addicts had to deal with this at some point so I thought I'd write a post about how I overcame being bored when I first started my recovery process. This is a serious issue some of us face and has even led to some relapses for me. Once I stopped continuously searching for a way to get more drugs, which is a very consuming task, I had all this free time on my hands. I went from having something to do 24/7 to having nothing to do. It was a major change that I hadn't anticipated. I was constantly plagued with the feeling of being bored and it wasn't that I couldn't find anything to do but that nothing seemed interesting to me, and that put me on edge.
Boy, did that ever make me feel guilty. I was finally blessed with being sober and I felt bored. One of the worst parts about being bored is that all my thoughts came rushing to the forefront of my mind with no distractions to keep them at bay. It was way easier to only have to deal with my thoughts a little bit at a time but when I was bored they were ALL very present and very real. It was difficult to take it all in and sometimes Id relapse just to avoid all these thoughts rushing in at once. I knew I had to find something to keep me busy because I was determined to get clean and stay that way.
To try and help with the boredom I started thinking about what I use to like doing before I became a full blown addict. I also started thinking about what goals I wanted to achieve and what my dreams and aspirations were for my future. I needed to find things that inspired me and got me motivated which wasn't all that easy at first, nothing seemed interesting. Finding something to get you interested is going to be different for everyone but for me the process of moving past this initial boredom was when I picked up a book for the first time in years. I used to love reading growing up and rediscovering this long time passion really got me out of that rut of initial boredom.
After that everything slowly started getting better as I found more and more things to inspire and motivate me. Deciding to go to back to school was a big part of the recovery process. I needed to build a future for myself and what better reason than that to get motivated. So now I had reading and schooling to keep me company. I finally felt like I was being productive and I had something to be proud of. Soon after I was motivated to get a part time job and getting close with my family again. Something I wasn't ready for at the beginning of my recovery because I needed time to heal before putting myself out there again. Especially with a family who is well acquainted with drugs of all kinds.
This is different for everyone but if your faced with this feeling of boredom and contemplating using again to get away from that nagging feeling of having nothing to do and nothing interest you, or to keep all those thoughts from overwhelming you, I urge you to keep looking for your passion. Something that motivates you. Think about your future. Stay sober and keep looking for that one thing that inspires you, I promise it will all be worth it.
PS. Here's a little something I learned from one of my research papers at school.
Life in recovery isn't boring, that's your brain playing tricks on you. The chemicals in your brain that make you happy and make things interesting are reduced when your first starting recovery because most drugs provide these chemicals and your brain gets use to not having to produce them naturally. When you get sober you won't be receiving the chemicals provided by your drug of choice anymore and it will take your brain sometime to naturally start producing them again. Just give it time and soon enough your brain will realize it needs to start producing them naturally because you won't be giving it these chemicals.
Much Love, Charmed
Much Love, Charmed