Monotonous Life In Recovery Doesn’t Have To Be
In early recovery the monotonous routines and struggle to stay clean every day is painful. It
seems so boring after ripping and running for so many years. Someone said to my the other day,”Amy, you look so much younger, happier and healthier,” She hadn’t seen me since before I reached the doors of the methadone clinic, starving and delirious at 85-90lbs. She said I used to look exhausted all the time, old and beaten. I did. I was dying. Going from that lifestyle to living quietly is very difficult for addicts. We crave drama, we need enticement and its not just because we’re crazy or bad people. It is a chemical addiction in the brain for a need for stimulation. The chemical cortisal is released into the brain when running deals, scams, robbing, getting high and all the other drama of an addicts life. The brain becomes addicted to this chemical that is released during fight or flight stimulation which is a constant in active addiction. So how does a newcomer fight the need to be in the lifestyle or that drive for drama? Replacement. Finding activities they used to like or learning new ones and it all takes time and determination. The most important thing is to understand why and to be aware of the reasons for that need for drama in newcomers. Some, myself included, continue to engage in situations I have no business being in because of old habits and the need for stimulation. Walking in nature, walking my dogs, tending to my gardens, going to meetings, reading, writing and working on my step work are just some of the things that help distract me. More importantly these are activities that I love and enjoy, like photography and art. I painted my bathroom mirror the other day for no particular reason. I went in to put makeup on and instead I painted the mirror instead of my face. Something this silly, simple and random gave me stimulation, healthy stimulation and satisfaction in creating something beautiful.