The Importance of Finding An Outlet in Recovery
By Kevin Repass
As a former drug addict and alcoholic in recovery, I have found that it is extremely valuable to find some type of outlet or activities you can enjoy to relieve stress, focus or express yourself. Finding an outlet can help maintain sobriety and prevent relapse. My outlet is the gym and writing. Sticking with a gym routine makes me feel better about myself both mentally and physically. Another outlet I use is writing. If I find myself feeling stuck in my head or having a craving for substances, I have found writing poetry or lyrics clears my head. I can capture my feelings at the time and release it onto a piece of paper. Outlets can come in the form of anything- exercise, music, meditation, prayer, arts, and crafts- anything that can keep you in the moment, find inner peace and allow you to release whatever it is you’re feeling at the time. It can also pull your attention away from triggers and curb or prevent cravings.
Finding an outlet isn’t just a form of release but also a replacement. In fact, finding a healthy outlet can replace your old, unhealthy habit of drinking and drug use. Finding an activity you can actually enjoy sober is vital. You must find activities and outlets that can help you physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I highly suggest finding ones that you never tried sober. Try to avoid activities you enjoyed while drinking or using, as those can be potential triggers for relapse.
If you feel lost and don’t know where to begin when it comes to finding an outlet, the simple answer is an experiment. Step out of your comfort zone. Take advantage of everything and everyone around you. Don’t be afraid to explore new places and try new things, even if you don’t think you would enjoy it. You never know until you try. Who knows, maybe you had a hidden talent or niche that you otherwise wouldn’t have known existed. Finding an outlet can also help you connect with other people. Getting yourself out there can help you find other people who share similar interests which, in turn, can build a positive environment and social network valuable to your recovery. Finding an outlet can also help you rediscover, reinvent and find yourself again.
Kevin Repass is a recovering drug addict and alcoholic. He is a writer for https://yourfirststep.org/ a south Florida-based company dedicated to providing resources and information to all those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction.