For most of us in recovery, we share a common enemy, a little thing called boredom. Boredom has never done me personally any good. It’s something that causes me to get that ‘freight train brain’ which involves about 100 thoughts per minute in my head, none of them too positive.
Remember what we are suffering from when it comes to addiction/alcoholism. This is a disease that centers in the mind! If we are stuck doing nothing but sitting in our head, it is inevitable that your day will take a turn for the worse once you really plug into that mind of yours.
Have you ever heard the saying, ‘Only boring people get bored.’? It’s kind of hard to argue. Chances are if you are bored often, you are a boring person!!! That’s okay! This is something that can be easily remedied.
Personally, during the pandemic, I have used video games to quell my boredom, but I don’t recommend that as you’re probably going to need to start hitting the gym real hard in no time.
Let’s take a look at some activities that are a tad healthier than being a couch potato and playing video games.
As I was going through my step work with a sponsor in early recovery, I started to notice that I was so unaware of my surroundings while in my addiction. It’s as if the entire world had turned grey while I was stuck in this numb indifferent state of mind.
I will never forget looking at the sky after I had just done my 5/6/7 step with my sponsor. It just looked so freaking blue; it was as if I had just seen HDTV for the first time except in real life.
Let me take this time to state if you are struggling in recovery and have relapsed several times. Ask yourself if you ever did a true 4th step or even reached the 4th step. I’m not getting on a soapbox, but I was someone who was in and out of recovery for years and was always ‘on step 3’ when I went out.
It turns out there are tons of people that were in the same boat as me as far as step work, if that resonates with you, do everything in your power to do a 4th step and a 5th step with your sponsor. It’s life-changing.
Anyways, no matter where you are in this beautiful country, there is some type of nature preserve or outdoor park you can travel to and just roam around while taking in the scenery. Take someone with you to enjoy it together.
Being able to simply enjoy your surroundings where it’s quiet and beautiful can really do a lot for the human mind. There is something tremendously therapeutic about my nightly beach visits.
I know, when you first read the word ‘volunteer’ you didn’t get too excited. During my first couple of years in recovery I did a good amount of volunteer work and if I’m being perfectly honest, I would have to force myself to get there but once I did it was always a fulfilling experience.
There are a few things to volunteering that can help your recovery flourish. First and foremost, volunteering is the type of thing that feels good when you sign up for it, but perhaps on the day you are scheduled to do it, you start to think about not participating.
This is a major recovery foul.
As addicts/alcoholics we are completely wired to just do what we want or don’t want to do. No matter if we gave someone our word, but that was in active addiction. In recovery, we want to have integrity and be a man or woman of our word. Integrity is vital in recovery.
Showing up to places even if I didn’t want to was a huge step forward for my growth, internally. Looking back at it all, I think living with integrity was the first thing to make me truly happy in my life. For so long I thought it was having a lot of money, the right job, the right partner. I was wrong. Living with integrity proved to be invaluable in early recovery.
Volunteering is also an easy way to get a dose of reality and the right perspective in life. Volunteering means helping out those in need for no charge. If you have never given it a shot, you should. Websites like VolunteerMatch are great to find a wide variety of volunteer opportunities. Animals, humans, nature, you choose what or who you would like to help out of the kindness of your soul.
Trying Things Out
Nine times out of ten when I ask someone who has just entered recovery what their hobbies are, they have a very hard time thinking of anything they can currently claim is a hobby. The last few months or even years of our addiction are more or less spent in survival mode. It’s drink/use as much as possible and spending any other time earning the means to continue our addiction.
There’s not much time for a nice fiction book series we can spend an hour with a day. There’s no time to go to the driving range to work on our iron shots. It’s just survival and trying to keep the charade of our life going so people think we are okay.
If you’re reading this, you’re already on the internet! Do some research, do some self-reflection. What do you want to give a try? There are so many interests out there you don’t even know you have.
Truly working a program is a journey of self-discovery. A big part of life in recovery (and life for anyone) is having balance. Seeking out hobbies and activities is just as important as any other work that you are doing in your life right now. This life is meant for enjoying it as best we can.
If it feels impossible to enjoy life in recovery, then this is your call to action to start living more and finding activities that are engaging and enjoyable to you. Don’t listen to your head that tells you there’s no point, just find something that piques your interest and go for it.