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Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
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18524847 tn?1465595901

Empty time after using? Post Addiction

Do you ever feel bored?  Like nothing is THAT fun anymore after you stop using?  Weekends are longer?  Holidays are nothing?  What do you do to move past that?
3 Responses
1135275 tn?1586565652
Yes. For me, when I get sober, there is a period of time where nothing is fun and doing the things I usually enjoy can seem quite robotic. Sometimes, I will push myself to do certain things. I notice that often, walks can help because it's getting outdoors and it also gets a rush of natural "feel good" chemicals flowing in the brain. Social interaction can also really help for me, but it's hard to be motivated to do ANYTHING after getting clean. I'm 2.5 months clean (with 2 rocky days, but the rest were totally sober), and I'm finding joy in things again. Perhaps more importantly, my mood leveled to a more "normal" baseline and while that equilibrium was quite boring at first, it has made way for more natural forms of joy here and there. I also have found I have much more energy to pursue some things that are important to me, which includes reading a lot of books. It took time for that, too. I remember someone telling me one time "fake it until you make it." She was actually preaching a sermon on kindness (I'm not trying to get religious, but I applied it to my recovery process), and I actually think it has helped me when I get sober. I often have such "meh" feelings about doing anything that I will make plans, not really want to follow through, but then 'fake it until I make it' and it often will bring me more joy than I expected.

In the past after long periods of using, it took some patience getting back my experiences of joy. It was helpful to notice patterns. For example, if I could notice more joy the past week or two than I had the previous two, then that tends to be helpful. Sometimes I look at month over month because that's easier to see changes.

I hope you'll stick with it. So often, this is not permanent. It just takes some time and trial and error to get the joy systems to reset themselves.
1 Comments
You will stick to it!!!  You can do it.  I agree though.  Like a let down.  Inability to think something sounds fun.  Like I'm waiting for the fun to start.  But that gets better, right?  We'll make it.  hugs
Avatar universal
I couldn’t put my answer any better than my_mayberry did.  He/she hit it on the nose.
And as for the walking part, I know it may seem like a no-big-deal thing that won’t really help, but it does-big time.  And to make it into kind of a game, your cell phone probably has a step counter on it.  Use that feature and start competing against yourself by trying to go further every day.  Then eventually you may want to start competing against other people on the app, and before you know it, you will have yourself an honestly enjoyable simple hobby.  I know it may sound blah, but that scenario accidentally happened to me when I first got sober.  It took up my time, gave me something to be interested in and I even made a cyber friend from it which started because we both repeatedly challenged each other.  
Another fun thing is to paint along with Bob Ross recordings.  You can buy cheap ready made canvasses and paints from the dollar store.
Good luck!
4 Comments
I love the Bob Ross suggestion! haha. Also, the step counter has been fun on my phone, especially after finding a study that shows it tends to underreport by about 10-20%, so after my walks, not only do I feel impressed by my steps, but I get to add 25%! :)
Yeah,  the step counter is definitely not all that accurate, I wouldn’t treat it more seriously than a competitive game :-). Just something to occupy your mind and time and get you moving.
BTW I can TOTALLY relate to the horrible depression/boredom of fresh sobriety.  It’s like you have to completely rebuild your life and relationships again and it feels like pushing a boulder uphill.  It just wanted to make me stay in bed and watch crap reality TV 24/7, which I did sink into at first for too long and gained 20Lb doing!
Both great ideas.  I can walk, that I can do!  Paint might be harder but I can try.  thanks
Avatar universal
You don’t have to be good.  It’s just for you, just to occupy yourself.  You can have a good laugh at your creations after lol.

1 Comments
My creations are funny, I'll give you that.  lol.  I planted a few pots with flowers this week and felt like a floral designer matching the colors and types.  Does that count?  It DID make me feel really good.
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