For many users, drugs and alcohol serve as the centerpieces of life while all other facets take a back seat. When a person has such a dependency for so many years, there is understandably a great deal of fear at the prospect of giving it up. Negative and hopeless thoughts fly at a constant rate, urging the user to partake and restart the cycle.
In order to counterattack the seemingly negative sides of entering recovery, just take a second to think of all the positive things you’ve chosen to neglect because of drugs and/or alcohol. Here are the top five things that tend to be thrown to the wayside when you take substances over life.
1. Career Goals
Drug and alcohol addiction is a full-time job. Although there are those who are able to successfully hold down a job, a promising career can be more easily obtained with drugs and alcohol in the rearview mirror. Who knows how many times the user was skipped over for a promotion or missed out on an opportunity to further advance in their company? Earning more money isn’t the solution but finding satisfaction and solace in a career is a big step to making the transition period a little less painful.
If the user was able to maintain relationships with anyone other than fellow users then hats off to them. There are many codependent people out there who will stick around for as long as they can in order to fulfill their need in helping the user. This undoubtedly takes a toll, so the key is to begin rebuilding the damaged relationships that were lost along the way. Whether the relationship is with a physical person or a metaphysical deity, the point is that drugs and alcohol largely cohabitate a space that should be filled with someone else. With drugs and alcohol out of the way, the user will find that they are free to spend time and energy on those who they feel are important.
There are various activities that may have been overlooked as the user suffered from rippling hangovers or comedowns. Whether it’s skipping the gym or quitting a sports league, addiction can suck all motivation and energy to be active. Without the constant obsession on getting loaded, the recovery addict will find there is time to explore and enjoy all that life has to offer. Hiking, fishing and surfing are all easy ideas that can turn into productive hobbies.
Although this is not a license to spend, it is safe to say that thousands of dollars is wasted on bottles or pills or whatever other substances catch the user’s attention. Without the constant drain of purchasing substances on a daily basis, the recovering addict should find a bit more cash around. Once again, this isn’t to say that it should all be blown, but it does show that sobriety is a profitable entity. Financial goals can now be set, whether it is a well-deserved vacation or a big screen television to watch the game. The key to remember is that these things are all unobtainable under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Taking care of another life form is an extremely therapeutic action. When under the influence of drugs or alcohol pets are either given away or neglected due to the extra burden of using. Without being chained to a substance, the recovery addict can now experience what it is like to care for a dog or cat. Although it seems simple, the selfless acts that go into raising pets are important. It is a quick teacher of maturity and responsibility, which are important aspects to maintain on the road to recovery.