Finding your purpose in life following addiction can be difficult. Who are you now? What do you enjoy? What is next? These questions can be difficult to answer as you exit treatment and begin to immerse yourself in everyday life again.
It is important to find some direction and feel a sense of purpose in your life. Depending on the length of time spent battling addiction, this can be easier said than done. The person you were prior to substance abuse may be a faint, very distant memory. Here are a few tips for redefining yourself and your purpose in recovery.
Focus On Your Strengths
What are you good at? Chances are, if you were a good communicator – or what some might call a people person – before or even throughout your battle with substance abuse, you are likely to still have that skill set. Maybe you are an artist or have a talent for working on cars. With a little practice and sharpening up, you may be surprised about what skills you still remember.
Set aside some time to really evaluate your skills and gifts, and consider how those could be used to benefit you and those around you moving forward. It can be common to lose sight of your talents while battling addiction, but chances are, you still have them within you.
Develop and Maintain a Support System
After treatment and upon entering recovery, you will likely see a shift in the company you keep. Many times, substance users hang out with other substance users. This means you will need to find and maintain a new circle of friends and supporters in recovery.
Having a strong support system during treatment and throughout recovery is very important. Often, you begin to build this support system during treatment. Relationships with loved ones begin to mend, and you encounter others who are striving to obtain similar goals.
Fostering these positive relationships and leaning on your support system in times of need is critical to long-term success. By letting others in and engaging with like-minded individuals, you can feel a sense of community and belonging. You are not in this alone!
Find Hobbies or Volunteer
Addiction can often strip you of your hobbies and interests, leaving you feeling empty and unmotivated. Treatment programs can offer excellent opportunities to pick up new hobbies and gain new interests. With activities such as exercise groups, gardening, hiking, and more, you may find something you enjoy enough to continue doing after treatment.
Filling your days is very important, especially once you leave treatment and resume some of your daily life activities. To avoid falling back into bad habits, staying busy is critical! During treatment, you are typically encouraged to follow routines that enable you to develop healthy habits and lifestyle changes. Aim to implement as many of these as possible when you transition out of treatment. This can help you continue to feel connected and on track.
Volunteering or getting involved in the community can be another great way to fill your day and gain a sense of purpose. Many treatment facilities offer programs to help you secure volunteer opportunities and even paid employment. Community integration is encouraged following treatment and is a great way to find and secure your new place in society.
Setting goals is always a good idea. Whether you are a few days or weeks into treatment or have been in recovery for years, setting realistic, attainable expectations for yourself can help keep you motivated and on track.
Consider what you want to accomplish short term and a few things you hope to achieve further down the road. Sometimes, breaking goals down into smaller, more manageable tasks can make them feel a bit more attainable and less overwhelming.
Give Back and Help Others
Another excellent way to feel fulfilled and purposeful is to give back. As you enter recovery and reach alumni status, you may have the option to help mentor or serve as a staff member or sponsor for others following a similar path. Consider how beneficial and life-changing treatment was for you, and imagine being part of such an amazing transformation for someone else. Being able to gift someone else with what you received during treatment can be extremely rewarding and gratifying.
Having a purpose in life is something we all desire. After receiving treatment for substance abuse, it can be common to feel unsure of what the next chapter might hold. Feeling uneasy and a little afraid during this time is common. Following the tips listed above can ultimately help you redefine your future and live a meaningful, fulfilling life in recovery.
What is your purpose in life? This can be a difficult question for those in treatment or recovery. Addiction has a way of knocking you off track and leaving you unsure of who you are without drugs or alcohol. You may feel that your interests have changed, or maybe you aren’t even sure what you are interested in anymore. Treatment offers opportunities to find yourself again and allows you to explore different hobbies and activities that you may come to enjoy even beyond. At Renaissance Ranch, we offer therapy, coaching, and activities designed to help you find yourself and your purpose in life again. Following treatment, our Alumni Program can ensure you remain connected, accountable, and on track throughout recovery. If you or someone you care about is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, call Renaissance Ranch today at (801) 308-8898.