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Replacing Addiction with Good Works

end addiction with purposeEnding addiction is one of the most challenging things a person can put themselves through. Addiction can have a tight hold on a person that seems unbreakable. However, anyone who believes in their own ability to conquer addiction can take control of their lives and beat their addiction problems. You can end your addiction by focusing on positive, meaningful things to do with your time, such as focusing on a vocation, taking up a hobby, following a personal dream or offering a service.

When you take up a hobby, you restore joy to your life. It could be a brand new hobby or one that your addiction got in the way of. Many people have activities they enjoyed immensely until they became addicted, then the activity goes by the wayside. Now is your opportunity to bring your hobbies and passions back into your life. This may include travel, puzzles, gardening, art or a variety of other enjoyable activities.

Offering a service can be a very meaningful way of spending your time. Many people who have battled addiction claim that being of service to someone or something was what saved them from addiction. They felt it was a type of atonement for the selfish state they lived in during their addiction and are happy for the opportunity to reverse their selfishness. Some services a person may want to lend themselves to are feeding the homeless, helping people with disabilities, volunteering with children or animals and helping with disaster relief.

Addiction has a way of preventing a person from following through with their personal dreams and goals. Everyone has a bucket list of items they want to do in their lives before they die, and these things are of great meaning to them. With the addiction monkey off of your back, you are free to pursue these dreams with the energy and fervor of a person who has been given a second chance at life.

And lastly, focusing on a vocation, such as schooling or a career path, is very rewarding for many recovering addicts. The careers and vocations we pursue are a reflection of our truest purposes. Though an addict is distracted from their truest purposes, a recovering addict knows how important it is to take one’s purpose seriously and occupy your time with something truly meaningful.

No to Substance Abuse, Yes to Purpose

no substance abuseThe key to ending substance abuse is replacing it with purpose in your life. Habitual substance abuse gets you into an unhealthy frame of mind. Unconsciously, you begin to focus your life on your substance abuse and you begin to neglect everything else going on around you. You neglect purposeful activities, good money management, personal relationships and your own health because of your desire to lose yourself in your substance abuse. If you begin to take back your life and refocus it on what is purposeful, one step at a time you will overcome your substance abuse.

Firstly, find ways of filling the time that you formerly spent on substance abuse with things that are purposeful, such as career aspirations, meaningful hobbies and personal vocations. Perhaps your substance abuse distracted you from a career path and you want to reclaim your ambition. Perhaps you have always intended to learn a musical instrument or a foreign language and substance abuse kept you from your goals. Or maybe you desire to travel and maintain a travel blog now that you have your sobriety back. Whatever your goals may be, they can serve as a way of defeating your substance abuse.

Your finances always suffer due to substance abuse. Recreational substances, such as alcohol, marijuana and elicit drugs are expensive. If you have been using any of these things enough to qualify as a substance abuser, you have probably damaged your finances. Now that you are motivated to take back your sobriety, take your new money management seriously and follow a careful budget.

It is important that you rekindle relationships that were lost during substance abuse. Substance abusers do not realize how they affect their loved ones being in a perpetually intoxicated state. It is likely that some of your relationships fell away from you as a result of your substance abuse, and now is the time to care for them again.

And lastly, substance abuse messes up your body chemistry and deteriorates your physical health. No doubt your body is very thankful that you are quitting your substance abuse, though it may come with some withdrawal symptoms. Take this time to focus on your health and heal the damage that was done during your substance abuse.

Receiving Help With Addiction

addiction helpThe idea of filling up your life with meaningful activities and purpose is sometimes easier said than done. When you are caught up in the throws of addiction and can barely manage the life you have, the thought of seeking out more meaning in your life is nearly impossible. Those who are ready to take their lives back from addiction but do not know where to start should seek professional addiction treatment for guidance. Through addiction treatment, you will receive the support you need to move past your addiction and avoid relapsing in the future.

The reason that addiction treatment, typically rehabilitation, works is because of how intensive it is. Residential inpatient addiction treatment houses you to physically keep you from your addiction, allowing you to recover in peace and in safety. While you are there, not only is your physical health restored to you, but your mental health is, too. Through counseling, therapy and other psychological exercises, you will come to understand the underlying reasons you are addicted and how to rewire your thinking and behavior to model healthier patterns. In addition, you will receive ongoing support even after the treatment is done, in the form of continued counseling, support groups, sponsorship and other addiction network services.

Do not let yourself believe that you should fight addiction alone. Many people are afraid to admit to weakness, even to themselves, so they try to manage their addiction tendencies in private. This regularly fails because an addict is the last person capable of holding themselves accountable for their addiction. Treatment is the only method that consistently proves successful because it is managed by mental health professionals and addiction specialists who have already helped treat many addiction cases. If you or someone in your life has fallen into the clutches of addiction, it is highly recommended that you reach out for help. Recovery is possible for those who are willing to work at it.

Things to Do Other than Abuse Substances

meaning in place of substance abuseFor people who have become addicted to a substance or who are perpetually abusing a substance, thinking of things to do other than use the substance can be difficult. After all, addiction, by definition, is something that consumes your thoughts and desires. When you are addicted, your world revolves around indulging in your addiction. A majority of your thoughts, time, money and energy are devoted to your addiction. For this reason, it is not surprising that you cannot get your mind off of it long enough to imagine how else you could be spending your time. Below are some ideas of how to reconnect to more purposeful activities and pursuits that will be challenging enough to keep you occupied but that will be therapeutic enough to keep you happy.

  • Become involved in the arts. Addicts frequently have abilities that lend themselves to the arts. Not always, but often, the same personal qualities that lead a person to experiment with an addictive substance or activity are the same qualities that lead them to be experimental with their creativity and imagination, making them gifted in the arts.
  • Take up an enjoyable hobby. Finding the recreational activity you enjoy the most can be a very important tool to your addiction recovery. A rewarding hobby has numerous benefits for your mental health, and can even turn into a vocation or career.
  • Find a way of helping people. For those who love to connect with others, it can be very rewarding and meaningful to reach out to those in need, perhaps even to those who are not as far along in their own addiction recovery.
  • Return to school. Continuing in ongoing education or pursuing an education in a new field is very mentally invigorating and stimulating for many people. In addition, it creates many opportunities for the student.
  • Undergo a career change. Not everyone chooses the career that is most sustainable to them on the first go. If your work is leaving you unsatisfied, start over in a new field to keep life from becoming stagnant and to keep addiction at bay.
  • Exercise and do physical activities. Exercise will restore your health from the ravages of addiction and challenge you to meet fitness goals.

Purpose as the Cornerstone of Sobriety

purpose and sobrietyMost stories of substance abuse begin in the same way: boredom and lack of direction. Even when someone abuses a prescription medication, there is much more beneath the surface of the substance abuse than meets the eye. And those who arrive at a full recovery from substance abuse often say the same thing: that they have regained the meaning in their life. Substance abuse is prompted by more than chemical addiction alone, although chemistry does play a part. All instances of substance abuse signify a piece of a person that is missing, and sobriety is the turning point for this trend.

When people begin abusing a substance, even if it is unconscious, it is because they do not feel complete. This may be in a deeply grievous way – someone is depressed because of a loss in their life and they abuse a substance in order to escape the pain. Or perhaps someone simply feels that their life is void of excitement so they turn to substance abuse to entertain themselves. In either instance, the person feels that there is something missing and attempts to fill the void with a substance.

Addiction counseling is more than simply a way of ending addiction. It is a way of treating the entire broken person and coaching them back to a purpose driven life. Many recovering substance abusers have claimed that they feel they were given a second chance at life through sobriety. This does not indicate that they stayed the same as a person but simply quit their substance abuse. This indicates an awakening in their life of purpose – the most sustainable reason for sobriety. When someone discovers their passion, whether it is for writing or chess or gardening, they are inspired to stay sober in order to pursue excellence in what they are passionate about.

If you or someone you love is a substance abuser, do not hesitate to reach out to a substance abuse counselor or mental health professional today. There is no shame in needing help in getting your life back on track, and there is no point in struggling and failing through it alone when there are professionals who know how to guide a person through the entire life process of reconnecting with their purpose.

A Fulfilling Life is the Key to Recovery

sober fulfilling lifeThere are many remedies offered to treat addiction, some of which work and some of which do not. Some root causes of addiction are best solved with professional treatment, but some truly depend on the personal choices the individual makes. Having a driving purpose or passion in life is proven to be one of the most effective ways of making recovery from addiction last. This is because purpose is the antidote to addiction, which is purposeless. Addiction is a harmful, watered down imitation of purpose that people stray to for initial pleasure feelings but become trapped and tormented in. Having a worthwhile purpose leads to personal fulfillment, which defeats addiction.

Finding purpose and rewarding ways of spending time can be a process, but everyone is capable of it, whether they know it or not. Every personality type has strengths and weaknesses, and no two people are exactly alike. Each one of us was created for a specific purpose that is meant to be accomplished by using our natural talents. Sometimes becoming aware of what our talents are is complicated. Our talents are not always obvious immediately but have to be discovered through experimentation. Whether your talent is for writing, working with children, playing chess, horseback riding, gymnastics or a great many other skills, it is certain that you have some unique talent.

It is possible for a person to become so immersed in their addiction that they cannot recall how to get back to a life of purpose. This is where addiction treatment comes in. For those who have become lost in their addiction and cannot find their way out, addiction treatment is a means of guiding people to recovery through tested methods and good mental health practices. Addiction treatment involves restoring your mental and physical health to its original state through counseling, therapy, readings, workbook exercises, a balanced diet, physical exercise and recreational activity. If you or someone you care about needs help beating their addiction and rediscovering their life’s purpose, reach out to a quality addiction rehab today.