Finally, you have made the tough and brave decision to walk away from your addiction. You should be proud you have taken this huge step toward starting a new life. You have an opportunity that many do not, to start over. This step can be a difficult one, but that does not mean you cannot find joy while making all these changes. This can be a challenge because addiction messes with the chemistry of the brain and can alter how we feel joy. As you enter into recovery you may not feel the same type of joy you did from your addiction. But you can find another type of joy. As you begin learning to find joy, remember that the joy brought about by your actual addiction was false, it was chemically induced and more and more was necessary to mimic that feeling. So now that you know what to expect, try some of the following ways to find new joy.
One way that may be unfamiliar to find joy is through vulnerability. Life will not always be good, but it also will not always be bad. When you feel yourself becoming more vulnerable be grateful that you can feel what you are feeling. Embrace the vulnerability and realize that you are a human with emotions and those emotions make you who you are in life. You do not have to dwell on any negative feelings but be proud you are feeling. This vulnerability will allow you to feel things that addiction often masks and will open up a world to you that you may have forgotten existed. As you open yourself up, learn to have an attitude of gratitude.
If you are grateful for the small things then you will be a happier person. It may seem like a simple activity but for a few days try taking a couple minutes each hour to write one thing you are grateful for in life. This does not have to be something big. It can be as simple as your favorite movie showing on television or getting to sleep in on the weekend. As you write these things down save them for those times when you are feeling low. Take time to read them and remember how you felt in that moment. This will bring joy. By finding joy in everyday moments you are choosing to be joyful. While it may not always feel like it, being joyful is a choice.
It really is as simple as finding joy by practicing joy regardless of your circumstances. You can cultivate this joy by being actively grateful and enjoying the moments where peace and happiness find you. These moments will be different for each person, but they can be found. If joy is not finding you then make your own. Try doing something fun and healthy. Get creative and find a new hobby or start a craft. Go outdoors and get some sunshine or just play. Children are happy because they are not worried about what comes next, they live in the moment and find the simplistic joy that is that moment.
Another way to find joy and let it find you is by keeping your body healthy. A healthy body allows you to feel better and do more. So get outside and get some exercise, soak in the vitamin D that the sun provides and let joy come your way. In addition to this, enjoy some healthy snacks. Enjoy these snacks slowly, actually tasting and savoring each bite. These snacks can also be used as a reward for meeting goals, maybe you can spurge a little as the reward.
No matter how you choose to find joy in a healthy way, know that it will benefit you long term as recovery becomes easier. You are an amazing person that has made a huge decision in your life. Stay strong and find that joy so you can make it long term.
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