When in an addiction most addicts have a false sense of joy for their lives, which is found through chemical dependence. As an addict uses drugs, they may experience euphoria but how do they cope when they become desperate to recover? At first living sober feels like a nightmare and we are forced to find a new way of living or face jails, institutions or death. In this article, we will discuss a few ways to experience joy in early stages of recovery.
When I initially became clean, I found myself in a terrible depression. If I stayed in this state, I would have probably continued to use drugs to create the illusion of being happy. I had to become aware that I couldn’t be able to function if I continued to use. Each day as I detoxed I learned more and more about why I couldn’t continue living like this. I became grateful for each night I would go to bed sober. Gratitude is one of the most beautiful emotions we can experience in early recover. It starts small and if we let it grow it can change our lives in ways we never thought imaginable. Starting off with a gratitude journal is something many addicts do in the beginning. This helps us reshape our thoughts about our lives and gain a positive outlook.
As we continue, we begin to find ourselves in a position of honesty and responsibility. We allow ourselves to talk freely and connect with others without fear of shame. This comes slowly and helps us improve our sense of self worth. The process of building trust and compassion starts when we stop lying. When we are able to become dependable we can enjoy the sense of minor responsibilities that help us feel unified within society. Little by little we change how we view ourselves and how we interact with others. In turn, this changes how we feel overall.
When we become more gentle with ourselves and our interactions with others, we allow for open mindedness and willingness. As addicts we tend to get stuck in our obsessions. However, as we recover we form new healthier associations with people, places, and things. We are learning not to act out of our emotional responses. Open mindedness to recover and the willingness to carry it out is a beautiful experience. Instead of continuing down the route of self destruction we learn to commit to creating a life we want to live.