Giving up old behaviors and patterns of thinking is difficult in the early stages of recovery. Deciding to begin recovery also requires a decision to change your life dramatically. This change involves understanding emotions differently, coping with emotions differently, and searching for new sources of joy. Joy may seem impossible to find in the early stages of recovery, but happiness is possible.
What Does Joy Look Like?
Some poets can examine sources of pain and suffering, but finding a writer who understands and writes about joy is difficult. When you are reviewing your life, think about times when you have felt peace. Peace of mind is often a precursor to joy. When stresses ease, laughing comes more easily.
Joy sometimes looks like Christmas in July and the smiles of your children when they realize you are home. Joy is a profound experience involving laughter, contentment, and the knowledge of your life turning out close to the way you always wanted. Our lives are never perfect, but finding joy in imperfection is still possible. You must be willing to search for and accept joy. Without your openness to the experience, you will never find joy.
Joy Every Day
When you consider the ramifications of addiction to alcohol and/or other substances, you can find joy in recovery. Waking up sober with the knowledge of what transpired previously gives many people peace of mind and a small amount of pleasure. There is a joy to be found in sobriety.
Recovery might involve expectations of yourself and others. A critical aspect of these expectations requires an element of reality. You cannot expect miracles in your health, mentality, or relationships to occur right after detox. You need time to heal not only yourself but also your relationships with others. Allow yourself time to heal; this time is critical to learning how to re-experience emotions healthily.
As you begin to feel emotions again, you will understand the differences in feeling and how events and people impact your feelings. Armed with this knowledge, you learn to balance your life and eliminate stressors or cope with your stressors more effectively. Balance creates an opportunity for joy.
What does joy every day mean? Joy occurs in the small moments. Joy may be found in your first cup of coffee or your first bite of breakfast. Joy can be found in so many little moments throughout the day if you are looking and willing to experience this joy.
Joy can also be found in significant events. Perhaps, your first chip from your 12-Step program and every chip after that. You are doing big things in your recovery. Take pride in your accomplishments. Accept joy as a new part of your life without alcohol and/or other substances. Recovery includes incredible amounts of joy.
Past Experiences With Joy
In the past, you possibly believed joy could only come while using. This lie prevented you from experiencing life to the fullest. Your happiness comes not from alcohol and/or other substances but from a life spent with others and focusing on opportunities to love your life.
Recovery provides a new beginning. Yes, you will have to overcome and make amends for past mistakes as you are able, but you can obtain forgiveness. Finding joy in alcohol and/or other substances robbed you of true happiness and numbed you to what recovery will help you consider essential to a life worth living.
Future Experiences With Joy
In recovery, you have the unique opportunity to redefine what joy means to you. You can learn new coping strategies that bring you joy and pride in your abilities. Your new focus on life might allow you to change careers and find something you genuinely love doing. The new job might give you abundant and unexpected joy.
You are no longer stuck on the roller coaster of addiction. You have an opportunity to recreate your focus on life and determine what you truly want. You can rediscover joy.
The criteria for experiencing joy are only limited to how you perceive your ability to experience happiness. Again, joy comes both in small moments and significant events. Take a moment and enjoy the beauty of a sunrise or sunset. The time has come to allow yourself to enjoy that cup of coffee. When your favorite song plays on the radio, blast it. Go fishing or hiking. Breathe in joy.
Joy is available all around you, but you have to be willing to experience happiness. Recovery offers you a new chance to experience joy. Do not be afraid to embrace the wonder of joy as you move forward in recovery. You deserve to be happy.
In the early stages of recovery, finding joy may seem impossible. However, joy can be found in the smallest of experiences and the most profound. Recovery takes time and effort and a willingness to evaluate your life, stressors, and emotions. With time and help from family, friends, and maybe professionals, you can overcome addiction to alcohol and/or other substances. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use disorder, help is available. Reach out today and learn how you or your loved one can experience healing and find joy once again. At Renaissance Ranch, we believe in the ability of every client to experience true healing, and we offer a clinically driven and gospel-centered approach to treatment. Reach out to us at Renaissance Ranch today by calling (801) 308-8898 and learn how we can help you overcome your substance use disorder. Help is available, and you can rediscover joy.