It can be frustrating when something you’ve worked so hard for seems to lose its luster. If you’ve been out of heroin addiction treatment and in recovery, at some point your pink cloud dissolves away and you are left feeling bored, restless and irritable. You might find that the rosy glow of post-treatment has been replaced with a more cynical view. Bottom line, you are not feeling it.
This is common, but it’s also a red flag to be mindful of. Recovering from heroin addiction is a process, and it isn’t always smooth. Relapse is a reality for anyone in recovery, but it doesn’t have to happen. The reality is you may be missing one or more of these five things, and that’s what is causing you to feel disconnected.
1. Support — Are you getting enough?
Lack of support is a big trigger for many people recovering from heroin addiction. We are social creatures, we need support! The thing is, getting support in recovery isn’t always easy. Even well-meaning loved ones aren’t always the best source of support for people in recovery. It’s important that you surround yourself with people who understand what you are doing. Finding like-minded people to share with, hang out with and get feedback from is essential to your ongoing recovery. When you were in heroin addiction treatment, you were surrounded by support. Once you are back in the “real world” you may find yourself feeling lonely or isolated. Be sure to stay connected to the recovery community, they can save your life!
2. Lack of self-care
What are the symptoms of a lack of self-care? Let’s see if any of these sound familiar to you:
- Lack of interest in daily activities
- A feeling of constant stress and anxiety
When you are short on self-care, you are more likely to be complacent when it comes to your recovery. You have got to make time for you, or you will have nothing left for anyone else. Taking good care of yourself means eating a healthy diet, getting regular checkups at the doctor and dentist, getting enough sleep, saying NO when you want to say no, taking time for activities that you enjoy, and treating yourself to things that make you feel good.
3. How about service?
Self-care is huge, but it’s also important to give to others. Being of service is something anyone can do. Getting out of your own head by focusing on someone else makes you a happier, less stressed and more grateful person. You can volunteer in your community, or if you participate in 12 step programs, you can be of service there.
4. Spiritual connection
Many people in heroin treatment report feeling a sense of emptiness or feeling disconnected from the world around them. This is so common, and there is a solution. That solution is a spiritual connection. This isn’t the same as religion. You don’t have to go to church to have a spiritual connection. There are many ways to explore your spiritual side:
- Try meditation. There are many ways to do it, not just one. Walking meditation is an example. You can just sit quietly for 5 minutes a day, count your breaths and feel a huge difference!
- Gratitude practice. Use your journaling time to make a gratitude list.
- Get out in nature, go hiking and take the time to slow down and really be present.
- Read inspirational literature, explore different types of spiritual practices, find something that resonates with you.
5. Are you having fun?
Last but not least, are you taking the time to enjoy yourself? Are you playing, having adventures, laughing and trying new things? Life doesn’t need to be serious all the time. Make time to be silly and have fun. Too often people equate recovery with being all business and seriousness, but it shouldn’t be that way. Yes, heroin treatment is a serious thing, yes addiction is a life-threatening disease, but you are alive and you can show your gratitude for that life by enjoying it!