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  • Let's Talk: What are your plans, once you've recovered from addiction?

    Community Builder
    Posts: 149
    Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2020 2:21 pm

    Let's Talk: What are your plans, once you've recovered from addiction?

    Thu Feb 04, 2021 6:07 pm

    Hi everyone,
    The scariest place to be on the road to recovery can often be the thought of 'What's next?' - the road of the future that leads out onto the horizon for as far as we can see....! We have managed to get through withdrawal and have survived. We have let our families know, our friends, our colleagues that we are on the road to recovery and they have greeted us with warm hugs and smiles (well, most of them) and we feel encouraged and less disappointed with ourselves. When we look in the mirror we can tell ourselves, 'you've done it, mate!' and you feel the warmth of self-acceptance and also self-recognition and perhaps even a bit of surprise.

    Perhaps, you have tried 3, 4 or 10 times before but this time, it feels right.
    But going back to the empty road of the future - the scary ' what is out there for me' can be daunting indeed. This is the NEXT step and it can be a little strange. You feel like you should doubt yourself, you're not really trusting that you can make it : What happens if you fail, disappoint yourself, find yourself in the bottle shop or down at the pokies in a few months?

    They are all very valid feelings and fears and hopefully you will also be mindful of the fact that we ALL have very similar fears and anxieties. It would be highly unusual NOT to have those thoughts and feelings of apprehension.
    It just means that you are human and the fear for the future is very much part of the human condition! What you need to do now is to stop and think - 'It will be okay - no one knows what the future holds, absolutely no body.' The key is to turn that apprehension into something less consuming and healthier.
    Like any anxiety, the worry can be turned into calmness and acceptance. It is also about taking steps to alleviate the anxiety - whether it is breathing, grounding exercises or any sort of exercise, like a walk around the block or feeding the ducks at the local park.

    Anxiety also can be relieved by solid plans for the future - arrange a trip, a dinner, join a book group, a weekend away, go and see some live music - anything that you can look forward to. Through hope comes survival and eventually happiness and contentment.

    Here is a useful breathing exercise, when you feel that the anxiety is getting a little too overwhelming..
    Stop and focus just on your breathing : we call it box breathing so you imagine that you breathe in (up one side of the box, then breathe out, across the top of the box, then breathe in down the side of the box, and breathe out, across the bottom of the box)
    - in (2,34,5 secs), out (2,3 4, 5 secs) and feel the air inflating your lungs and then out, clearing and cleansing.

    Your body will respond and in turn your mind will calm down, if you do this for a minute or so. You can then also focus on the senses around you - smell the air, feel the carpet or grass or floorboards underneath your feet, touch something soft and furry (a cat?), look out of window if there is a pleasant view....
    And tell yourself that you are on the road to recovery and life is looking less ordinary and much brighter x

    What works for you, now that you are in that special place of moving forward with recovery? What motivates you and keeps you going ?
    What helps to get through the weekend or what do you find occupies you the most and creates harmony and a sense of satisfaction and hope?

    Last edited by Bamboo [facilitator] on Fri Feb 05, 2021 9:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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    Peer Worker
    Posts: 619
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Let's Talk: What are your plans, once you've recovered from addiction?

    Thu Aug 04, 2022 9:31 pm

    This is a really important topic.............what are you working towards???

    I think a lot of people just aim to get clean or sober but it's not enough. What's going to keep you clean and sober???? That's the question. What is it you want life to look like. In working with people over the years I've learnt that one of the quickest things to trigger a relapse is dissatisfaction with life............and boredom. Don't get me wrong, getting clean and sober is massive achievement but there's gotta be goals to keep you going.

    I've hit a couple of hurdles in this stint of my recovery and have been able to identify boredom and a lack of challenge as key factors. I've had a couple of gambling lapses and been really lucky not to do any damage. I'm grateful I haven't lapsed on drugs or alcohol but there have been times where I've felt like I'm on shaky ground. Johann Hari has a great TED talk called "Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong". Whilst I don't agree that everything he says in there is the complete answer..............he does talk about having a meaningful and fulfilling life. That's something you can set up for yourself and it's something that only you can do because only you know what truly satisfies you.

    For me that was about leaving behind a hospitality career and studying to work in drug and alcohol. I've built a new career and changed roles along the way so I can keep learning and setting new goals. Outside of work I've discovered how much I like a bushwalk, swimming laps at the pool and having a sauna, started playing a bit of golf again, spend loads of time with my daughter whenever possible, see friends from time to time, walk along the beach, go for an occasional kayak, binge a series on Netflix, do a bit of gardening.

    My goals now are different than a few years ago and they'll be different again soon...........and again, and again, and again. We don't always achieve our goals and I haven't achieved all mine but by setting out to try I've discovered what's important to me and what's not. Not achieving a goal has helped me to set new goals and find out what it is I enjoy about life.

    What do you enjoy?? What do you want your life to look like when you get clean and sober so you don't start looking for drugs and alcohol to fill the gaps???
    1 x
    Junior Member
    Posts: 28
    Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2022 10:47 am

    Re: Let's Talk: What are your plans, once you've recovered from addiction?

    Mon Aug 08, 2022 1:57 pm

    My long-term goals include:
    - Building a healthy romantic relationship.
    - Increasing my strength and fitness.
    - Saving up money to buy a house one day.
    - Enjoying family vacations.
    - Helping other people on their recovery journey.

    These are all things which using drugs would severely impair my ability to properly focus on and enjoy these things.
    1 x

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