Saturday, February 27, 2016

Best of the week from Choose Help

Creating Sober Excitement – Beating the Blahs to Beat Relapse

Creating Sober Excitement – Beating the Blahs to Beat Relapse
After a few months, it’s easy to hit a recovery wall and start to feel bored and dissatisfied with your new clean and sober lifestyle. This dissatisfaction will pass, but until it does, you can lower your risk of relapse by taking some time to plan islands of excitement to look forward to.
For a few reasons, after the initial euphoria of recovery success wears off, your new drug and alcohol free life can start to feel a little blah: Where’s the excitement? What’s to look forward to? ...Why does everything seem so boring!?
This is a normal and transient phase of recovery that tends to settle in for a while after a few months of abstinence. It won’t last forever, but unless you’re prepared to deal with them - the blahs can easily lead to relapse.

Reasons behind feeling the recovery blahs after a couple of months of abstinence:

  1. Your brain is still recovering (healing) from your drug or alcohol over-use and this makes it harder for you to experience strong positive emotions
  1. A lot of people run into something that’s known as ‘the wall’ between 2 and 4 months into recovery, as the early glow of success fades and the harsher business of reality settles in
  1. Your recovery life probably isn’t as "exciting" as your using or drinking life. Nine times out of ten, this is a very good thing (because most substance abuse excitement is the kind you really don’t want) but nevertheless, you’ll still miss those regular moments of genuine ‘fun’ excitement that using or drinking provided

So what do you do?

You didn’t stop using to live a less fulfilling life, so when the blahs hit, the only thing to do is to expend a little effort creating the life you’ve always wanted… by creating your own HEALTHY EXCITEMENT.

Creating Islands of Excitement

No one needs non-stop action, but we all need things to look forward to – things that make all the tough and mundane moments worthwhile.
  • We need to look forward to small moments of fun or excitement on a very regular basis
  • We need to have bigger things to look forward to for every once in a while

What’s the answer?

It’s not exactly rocket science… You just make sure to schedule in things to look forward to – islands of fun and excitement to swim toward from the sea of everyday living!

Examples of Recovery Excitement Islands (Both Big and Small)

  • Going away for a weekend with friends or family members
  • Going out to try a new nice restaurant (using the money you used to spend on alcohol or drugs!)
  • Going to a matinee movie
  • Going for coffee with an old friend
  • Going to a ball game or a play
  • Getting a massage or spa treatment
  • Taking the day off work
  • Going camping
  • A million and one other possible examples!

Scheduling Islands of Excitement

Is recovery life all you’d hoped it would be? Do you ever feel bored and miss the excitement of your past life?
Well if so, and even if you don’t, yet, you’d be wise to spend a little effort on the scheduling of events that give you something to look forward to, stave off boredom and to improve your quality of life.
Get started now! Make a list of your own personal excitement islands – anything that you’d look forward to with anticipation and then try to schedule at least a couple small events into your week and at least one larger event into the next month or so.

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And, as always, thank you for reading!
All the best to you and yours,

Martin Schoel,
founder of Choose Help
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