Despite the fact that substance abuse can create a lot of chaos and destruction throughout every aspect of a person’s life, many people find substances difficult to leave behind. There is a false belief that without drugs or alcohol, you cannot have fun or happiness in your life and will be bored and miserable. This could not be further from the truth, as living without substances frees you to experience life in all-new ways. Can you find joy in your life after substance abuse?
Searching for Happiness in All the Right Places
There is a perception that substances will make you happy. This falsehood likely comes from alcohol advertising and media that portray people laughing and having a good time while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. While there may be some temporary euphoria, the truth about substances is that most of the time, the consequences of using substances do not make you happy. After the temporary fun, there are both short- and long-term effects, including addiction.
The truth of the matter is that happiness can be found in lasting forms without those harmful consequences when you are sober. You will not always be happy, and human beings are meant to experience a full range of emotions. You will, however, be able to live without the shackles of substances dictating your daily life. By seeking treatment for your addiction, you are truly searching for happiness in all the right places.
Finding Joy in the Healing Process
Much like sobriety, treatment for addiction has been given some negative press. Your experience of treatment depends largely on your attitude toward the process and how committed you are to your healing. While it is very challenging, there are also moments along the way where you can find joy as you experience breakthroughs and reach milestones.
Only you can determine the outcome of your treatment experience. You can choose to be miserable and make it a difficult time, or you can choose to seek joy and make the best of your healing time. One of the determining factors will be learning to acknowledge your spirituality, specifically being open to being grateful.
The Healing Power of Gratitude
Expressing gratitude can improve your recovery experience and actually change your brain. According to an article published in Greater Good Magazine for The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley, on June 6, 2017, entitled “How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain,” gratitude has direct effects on both the mind and brain. Gratitude helps to release you from negative emotions, even if you do not share them with others. While it can take time to see the effects of gratitude, their study demonstrated that gratitude could improve brain function and have lasting effects. This is particularly true for those who have experienced substance abuse, as gratitude targets those areas that can be deficient after long-term or heavy substance use.
Choosing to Receive Joy in Your Life
When you choose to be grateful, you choose to bring joy into your life. By counting your blessings, you find joy in what you have rather than being concerned about what you do not have or comparing yourself to others. The act of expressing gratitude, whether it simply be to yourself through a gratitude journal or vocalizing gratitude to others, allows you to switch your focus from deficit to abundance. When you have the mindset of abundance, you will not only experience more happiness, but you will experience the feeling of true joy. This conscious choice of living a grateful life is like opening up a window or a door and inviting joy into your life.
Joy as a Principle of Ho Tai
The Ho Tai Way – Recovery for Women is founded on the principles of Ho Tai, one of which is Joy. We see these principles through the lens of recovery, so the principle of Joy is seen as “being able to express gratitude and make it a way of life.” We know that as you learn about the principles of Ho Tai, you can receive Joy in abundance.
Gratitude has become an increasingly important focus in recovery because of its capacity to heal. Still, we chose it as a principle because we believe that each of these principles is a gift for you to receive. We focus on helping you heal and learn how to receive all of the gifts life has to offer you, especially joy. By choosing to live a grateful life, you can experience joy after substance abuse.
Can I find joy in my life after substance abuse? You can find joy in healing and happiness in recovery by choosing the healing power of gratitude. When you make a choice to allow the Ho Tai principle of the gift of Joy in your life, you can experience long-term healing by being grateful every day. The Ho Tai Way – Recovery For Women believes that you deserve all of the gifts life has to offer you. Our detox and residential treatment center for women provides trauma-informed care to help you heal from addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. Located in sunny Costa Mesa, California, we offer many evidence-based and complementary therapy options so you can have a truly individualized treatment plan that will work for you. How can you put the principles of Ho Tai into effect in your life? Contact us at (714) 581-3974.