One of the hardest parts of breaking an addiction is working out how to fill the gap. Many addicts dedicate huge amounts of time each week to drinking or taking drugs.
Some even plan their lives around drugs and drinking. Taking these substances away can leave many people feeling lost. What are you supposed to do with all that spare time?
In most cases, the best way to fill the void is to replace your addiction with a new healthy obsession. This can be anything that motivates you to get through the week.
After leaving alcohol/drug rehab, some people have trouble finding a new passion. This post offers a few tips on how to choose a new passion after addiction rehab.
Consider Your Strengths, Interests, and Desires
There are many things in life that can be classed as ‘passions’. However, when finding your ultimate passion it’s important to consider something that a) you are competent at b) something that brings you joy and c) something that you want to continue working towards in the future.
Some people embrace sports and physical activities that they once loved. Others use their spare time to pursue creative passions like crafts or writing. Others pursue causes that they are passionate about such as fighting climate change or helping the homeless. You could even dedicate your time to helping fellow addicts recover.
Find a New Social Activity
Drinking and taking drugs are social activities for many people. Going sober can take away this reason to socialize, leaving many people feeling isolated.
In order not to relapse after addiction treatment, it’s important to find new social activities. This could include watching movies or sports with friends, going shopping with friends, exercising with friends, or joining social clubs that don’t involve alcohol or drugs (such as exercise classes, book clubs, or choirs).
Look for New Ways to Seek Thrills
Drugs and alcohol can be a source of thrills for many people. However, there are other ways to reach that ‘high’.
Doing intense exercise, playing video games, riding roller-coasters, eating chilies, watching horror movies, doing karaoke, and trying extreme sports are all healthier ways to get an adrenaline rush. If you consider yourself a thrill seeker, consider planning these types of activities and developing them as passions.
Explore New Ways to Unwind
Alternatively, drugs and alcohol may have been a tool to help you unwind. After seeking therapy at an addiction treatment center, you may find that you have no way to relieve stress.
Fortunately, there are so many other ways to relieve stress that could serve as new passions. You could try spending evenings reading books, listening to new music, trying out new bath products, preparing new meal recipes, going on walks, growing plants, watching comedies, or practicing yoga. These are all healthy stress relievers that can be great new passions.
Avoid Other Unhealthy Addictions
Once out of rehab, it’s important not to replace your old addiction with a new unhealthy addiction.
Make sure that you don’t replace alcohol with drugs, or drugs with alcohol. Similarly, don’t fill your hours binge-eating, chain-smoking, watching pornography, gambling, or engaging in self-destructive behavior.