Getting sober might be the first part of healing from addiction, but recovery is entirely different. Although you can’t have recovery without sobriety, the two are separate phases of healing from addiction.
In fact, getting sober might not be peaceful and quiet at all. You might experience emotional pain, physical discomfort, anxiety, frustration, and more. Getting sober can be challenging because you’re asking your body to return to a state that it might not have been in for awhile. You’re retracting from your brain the chemicals that you were – up until a few days ago- flooding it with. You’re telling yourself that you’re not ever going to use these substances again, even though just a few days prior you might have been using drugs or drinking without hesitation.
Getting sober isn’t always easy. However, there’s peace that can be found in recovery. In fact, finding that peace is precisely what can help stabilize your life, prevent the cravings from returning, and reassure you that you’ve made the right decision. That peace might not show up right away. You might need to find it. You might need to take on practices of relaxation in order to find that inner peace. Here are some suggestions for finding a peace inside that can help sustain your recovery:
1. Practice Meditation
This can be a challenging practice at first. The mind is full of thoughts and activity that can throw us off center. However, having a point of focus – like the breath or a mantra – can help create stillness. Learning how to keep attention on one point of focus can slowly remove the tendency to believe in thoughts, which is often what creates suffering. Although this practice has its initial challenges, the rewards are great once you can move past them.
2. Practice Yoga
Another form of meditation is yoga – a meditation of movement. In yoga, you bring your awareness to different parts of the body as you stretch out in different poses. The movement of the body while the mind is still can bring great benefits. Many men and women have found that yoga can even heal long-term diseases and ease physical pain. And there is a growing tradition of recovery-oriented yoga for those who are healing from addiction.
3. Find a Spiritual Tradition That Works for You
One of the reasons why the 12-step model has been so popular over the years is because of its inclusion of spirituality. Feeling a reliance on a higher power can greatly increase our confidence when having to face issues or challenges in life. Some people also find that the structure religion or spirituality provides can bring a foundation to life that they did not have before.
4. Do Something Healing for Yourself Once a Day
Addiction is full of self-harm. You’re putting toxins into your body, flooding your brain with extreme chemicals, taxing your body, likely not eating well, and possibly not sleeping well either. The life of an addict can be hard on the body. While you’re in recovery, you can change that by choosing to do something kind for your body once a day. This doesn’t have to mean paying for an expensive spa retreat all the time, but going for a quiet walk, taking a hot bath, or preparing a nutritious meal. Choose to do one thing for yourself each day of your recovery that says, “I love you,” to your body.
These are suggestions for finding peace in recovery. It won’t appear over night, but with a sustained intention to find peace and be kind to yourself, you might soon feel more serenity in your life.