I got sober for one reason, and one reason only – to get my kid back. Having the most important person in my life be my recovery focus is what got me through the process. I currently have shared custody with my ex. Happily ever after, right?
Well, not exactly. While I was and am eternally grateful and equally ecstatic over being reunited with my little girl, I still missed getting high.
Instead of getting sober for myself, I did it for someone else. In order to continue to fight temptation without feeling totally miserable about it, I had to find a way to cherish my new life in full. I needed to find true happiness.
Tired of fighting against myself, I did some research on happiness. What I learned is that I needed to make happiness my focus, and while my daughter is a big part of that, she is not all of it.
The first thing I did was to follow some good advice I received in rehab, which is to identify my emotions. I had spent so many years numbing them with drugs, that I was incredibly out of touch with myself. I realized that staying sober means I have to either deal with them or let them make me miserable.
Whenever I found myself wanting to get high, I stopped whatever I was doing and asked myself why. I realized that I was angry at myself for all the wasted years while I was using, which then caused me to spiral into depression. Once the depression hit, all I wanted to do was get high and forget about it. I was caught in a vicious cycle.
By following the tips below, I have eliminated some of my triggers and experienced less intense temptation:
1. Re-Establish and Maintain Relationships
One of the criteria that many people identify as necessary for true happiness is to have close relationships with others. That doesn’t mean you have to go out and make as many friends as possible. Simply work on establishing trust and enjoying the people you love.
2. Get Out of Your Own Head
A great way to do this is to focus on helping others. Some suggestions include: volunteering in your community, become a sponsor to a fellow addict, or mentoring youth as a classroom aide. Whatever you choose, you will find that you will be freed from focusing on your own problems during that time.
3. Take Care of Yourself
Eat right and get plenty of sleep. If you are suffering physically, you will find it much harder to manage your emotions.
4. Take on a Healthy Challenge
It could be a creative outlet or physical activity or simply something you have always wanted to try. Simply select something new to master. The process will free your mind.
Joining an organized religion or spending quiet time with your thoughts, allows you to release your negative emotions to a higher power, creating a sense of security that they will pass.
6. Give Yourself a Break
We all tend to be our own worst critics. Identify your best qualities and learn new things. Both will help you to feel more positive about yourself.
7. Count Your Blessings
We all have more than we think. You can also look for opportunities when faced with a difficult situation.
By following these tips, I have found true happiness, and instead of dreading the start of a new day, I now see it as a gift that I can’t wait to open.
If you or someone you love is struggling with alcoholism or drug addiction, or you just have questions, please call Lighthouse Treatment Center today. We are happy to provide a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced treatment advisors. Help is available today.