There are many joyful moments that get lost in active addiction. Small pleasures, which we once found exciting, become lost memories and inconveniences in addiction. But, when we start on the road to recovery, the veil begins to lift and we can see and access the joy in our life again.
Joy comes in many forms. It is going to look a little different for all of us. As you come out the other side of addiction, there is plenty more joy to be discovered. Here are some of the places to look.
The things that were lost
From relationships to outings, coffee dates and milestones, these are things that may have been neglected or forgotten entirely during the months or years of addiction. It might be birthdays that were missed, or saying yes to a baby shower or wedding, now is your chance to build bridges, reconnect and catch up on those things that were lost. Take as much time as you need, particularly if you’re in early recovery. Step by step, you can discover or rediscover the joy of things lost.
The things that are found
There are all the new things that can come into your life in recovery. From new friends to discovering a love of yoga or dance, creative writing or cooking. Enjoy the freedom of giving something new a go. Start to build healthy habits that make you feel satisfied and happy.
What can you do to find joy?
Joy is different for everyone and that is the beauty of it. If you’re not sure where to start there are a few things you can do to find your own joy and take action from there. Ask yourself these questions and write down your answers:
- What or who makes you happy?
- Where is your favourite place to be?
- Who do you most like to spend time with?
- What or who makes you laugh?
- What activities make you feel completely absorbed in the moment?
- Is there anything you did when you were younger, that you’d love to do again?
- Is there something you’ve never tried that you’ve always wanted to try?
- Map out your ideal day. What does it look like?
Now, some of those answers may be hard to find. If that’s the case, come back to the questions again later today, or tomorrow morning. Write down anything that comes to mind without censoring your answers. Even if the ideas seem crazy or out-of-reach, make a list that makes you smile! So, If it’s circus skills or line-dancing or synchronised swimming, no one is judging! Be fearless about uncovering and prioritising your joy and try out some new things at the same time.
At Help Me Stop, we are building a community of people in recovery from addiction. Connecting with like-minded people who are on the same path as you, may help you to discover and rediscover things that spark that moment of joy. It’s great to share ideas and experiences with others.
Another thing you could try is going along to some events and sessions with friends. Be open-minded. You never know, you might love that life-drawing class! If you’re stuck for ideas, ask your friends what they enjoy. You could book clubs or gym classes together. Go for long walks in the park or try out a salsa class. Perhaps even pick a taster course at random from a local college.
Lastly, learning to enjoy your own company is one of the most joyous and rewarding acts in addiction recovery. It can be tough at first, but having a coffee alone, or taking yourself out for lunch or to an exhibition, can be some of the happiest and most interesting events. Particularly if you have spent a while not really knowing who you are, this is a great way to get to know what you do and don’t love.
Connect with Help Me Stop on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, to let us know where you find joy after addiction. If you are currently struggling with addiction, please reach out here and let us help you. We are here to support and to listen, to explain the options for addiction treatment, and to help you take the first steps on the road to recovery.
Help Me Stop offers addiction help for drugs and alcohol, with a unique Dayhab approach. A non-residential rehab programme available online and in two London rehab locations, we are a team of addiction treatment experts, committed to helping you find your life after addiction. We offer programmes to help people with alcohol and drug addiction to recover, with group therapy, individual counselling, spouse sessions and a range of other options too. Find out more about our services here and read about some of our recovery stories here.