How to Live a More Meaningful Life in Recovery
Now that you have taken the steps to overcome addiction, how do you maintain that drive? What happens once rehab is over? How do you literally change your life and begin taking a new path in addiction recovery? Your problems with addiction were the result of choices, and the path to a new life will also be the result of choices. Your choices always determine your path.
The only way to keep life on track is for that life to have a definite purpose. What will your purpose be? You must be conscious of this. You must be active. You must take the steering wheel and choose to be the one in control. You will decide what your purpose is, but remember, without a purpose, your choices will lack direction and without direction, we almost always default to bad choices again.
What Will Your Purpose Be?
During an addiction, many people lose connection with their true selves. Think of yourself before addiction. Really take a few minutes to remember the person you were. Where are you? Who were you hanging out with? What were your favorite things to do? What excited you before addiction?
You have changed dramatically from that person you once were. You have learned hard lessons, but you are a better, wiser person for it. However, connecting mentally with the person you once were can help you remember things that once brought you excitement, things you were passionate about. What were your dreams and goals? Are those goals still something you are interested in? Or will the new you forge a new path entirely?
What are you passionate about now? What is meaningful to you now?
Take some time to write down new goals, ambitions, and passions. Use this list to begin to map out a purpose for yourself.
Even if you do not have a specific purpose in mind right this moment, there are basics that everyone can benefit from focusing on.
Health and Exercise
Physical exercise is a great way to take control of your thoughts, health, and life. Exercise has a great effect on your mood and also has a psychological effect on you as well. Taking control of your health will help you to feel more in control of your entire life. When you are in control, you can make better choices. You will not be so easily influenced by others.
People often confuse spirituality with religion. Religious practice can often be a great way to find a spiritual path, but the two do not necessarily need to go hand in hand. If you do have religious roots that you find fulfilling, now is a great time to reconnect with this.
If you do not have religious roots, you can still begin to develop yourself spiritually. Spirituality simply means to move beyond the basic thoughts and actions of human survival and to tap into something higher. Your soul is an important aspect of you. The soul can help lead us into better and better choices. However, because many people ignore their soul, it is easy to forget that it is even there.
You can begin to care for your soul by learning more about it. Read books about spirituality and how to better connect with your soul. Take some time each day to be alone and quiet. You may not be ready to begin meditating just yet, but still, take the time to be alone with yourself. Pray, reflect, journal. Even this is a spiritual practice that will help you reconnect with your soul.
You have just come through a huge learning experience. You are now on the other side. You are stronger and wiser. There are so many people around you who can benefit from your new-found strength and wisdom.
Helping others is one of the most profound things you can do to give your life purpose. When we move beyond ourselves and begin focusing on others we are operating on the highest level. These types of activities will multiply your energy, drive, focus, and purpose.
There are countless ways you can help. Think about something you are passionate about and then look for volunteer opportunities in that area.
Maintaining your accountability relationships will help you keep your new life of purpose on track. Accountability is not just for those completing rehab. Accountability is essential to personal improvement and community building for everyone.
We are all accountable. When we keep a constant sense of accountability, we will want to be our best for our friends, family and community members. Do not resist accountability. The moment you start resisting accountability you are changing your path.
Recovery is hard, but you have come a long way. You are stronger now. You are wiser now. You are ready to take on a life of purpose that will keep you growing and healing.