When you're addicted to something, you can't imagine life without it. If you've ever tried to let go of your addiction for even a brief period of time, it's very likely that you were miserable. This often leads to the very simple conclusion that the addiction is the only thing that can bring you joy. If this is true, it also means that without your addiction, you're doomed to be hopelessly unhappy for the rest of your life.
This is how the process of denial works. We convince ourselves that we have to rely on alcohol, drugs, or other addictions in order to feel better about our life. This denial can become so powerful that we convince ourselves that we are totally unique. While other people might be able to become sober, live a normal life, and find happiness, it just won't work for us. Denial creates and feeds a myopic perspective and belief that our situation is different from others' and we truly "need" our addiction.
So how do we break this cycle? The only way forward starts with a serious commitment to rehab and recovery in the form of drug or alcohol addiction treatment at a first-class facility like at Brentwood Meadows Hospital.
Recovery first, then happiness.
While lots of people in the Evansville area try, it's hard to truly give yourself the chance to recover. Simply quitting a habit for a few days is not progress, it's simply pausing the problem. The best opportunity to get fully detoxed and healthy starts in a medically supervised environment. With the right support and supervision, recovery becomes a lifelong journey made of many steps. It's a hard way to start, but it ensures a sustainable recovery and, before you know it, all those things you once loved become important again. Without addiction to narrow your vision, you soon find out that happiness is everywhere.
While it's a lot of hard work, you don't have to do it alone. You may have heard discouraging stories about how traumatic withdrawal from drugs and alcohol can be. But when you choose a reliable addiction recovery facility like Brentwood Meadows, your withdrawal symptoms will be carefully monitored and managed by trained medical personnel who work to reduce the pain associated with the process. Your therapists will also support you with techniques to minimize the cravings associated with withdrawal and learn to avoid or minimize them.
After being clean and sober for a while, the simple things in life will become a source of happiness ... It will not happen during the first day, or even the first week, of recovery. Getting your life back together and finding sober happiness again is a process, but it is possible.
Five habits of happy people
1. Rebuild relationships
Studies show that people who consider themselves very happy have close ties to other people. They may not have a large number of friends, but they do have a handful of meaningful, healthy relationships. Happy people frequently prioritize connecting with others, making lasting friendships, and creating the time to spend with those people.
Start small. Try making one phone call to someone you care about each week. Set some time aside to take a walk together or meet for coffee. See where that leads as you rebuild a healthier life based on healthier relationships with people who will help you stay engaged, sober, and happy.
2. Make time for service
Take time to give back. Make it a priority to do things for others without expecting compensation or a particular reward. Volunteering is a great way to connect with others and give back to your community. Take your pick from a wide range of choices—from volunteering at a hospital or assisted living center to walking dogs at the local animal shelter.
3. Focus on health, nutrition, sleep, and exercise
Drugs and alcohol can wreak havoc on your body and mind. After the physical challenges of a detox, your body is likely nutritionally compromised. To compensate for that deficiency, most detox programs use vitamin and mineral supplements to boost overall health during and after detox.
At the same time, you can benefit greatly from regular exercise, medication, and adequate sleep. Find activities that you can enjoy solo or in a group. Many areas now have "Meet Up" groups engaging in nearly every type of sport or activity, from yoga to off-road cycling.
4. Find a hobby
Identify an activity that you can jump into with both feet. For some this may be a creative pursuit, like pottery, music, or art. For others it may be a physical activity, like cycling or running. Whatever it is, it should be something that challenges you, something you can work at regularly, and something you can seek to master. Most importantly, it should be something you enjoy—losing yourself in an activity you truly enjoy is a core component of happiness.
5. Discover spirituality, religion, or a higher power
Studies show that people who consistently consider themselves to be happiest also indicate some connection to an organized religion, define themselves as spiritual, or simply cite a commitment to a higher power. Many different traditions stress some sort of prayer or meditation as a part of the practice of the faith—activities often linked with feelings of well-being and happiness.
Making strides toward happiness
Once you've undergone the detox, cleansing, and rehab processes at a medically supervised facility like Brentwood Meadows, you'll start a process of behavioral treatment, which is the best way to minimize chances of a relapse. Although you may feel significantly better soon after the detox stage, getting to a sustained state of improved physical and emotional health and long-term sobriety is a more gradual process.
Even though happiness in long-term recovery is an ongoing process, the right support at the start is critical. Your best chance at rediscovering happiness in sobriety starts with professionally supervised inpatient treatment at Brentwood Meadows. This should be followed immediately by partial hospital or outpatient treatment in a program designed for your unique needs, including those that supplement traditional recovery science with faith-based programs.
No matter where you are in the path toward sobriety and renewed wellness, always remember that you owe yourself happiness. You can be happy again. All you have to do is ask for help, remain committed to recovery, and stay open to the potential of a healthier, happier life.
Please call 812-858-7200 or fill out this form to start your road to recovery.
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