Random Tip No. 4: Minimize as much “free” time as you can
Many consider free time as a gift that should be treasured. The time to sit for hours, if not days and do whatever you want, even nothing. Yet when you are battling something like addiction, especially opioid addiction, free time can be an enemy. The more down time or ability to be flat-out bored, the more dangerous to staying clean! This was a HUGE issue for myself. Especially for the long period of time that no one knew about the addiction or the treatment! If I wasn’t actively doing….. something, that was when my brain would start going through it’s internal check list of what felt bad, what stressers were in my life, yadda, yadda, yadda. I could never figure out how to shut off that part of my brain while in “free time”. The only thing that worked was finding something to do. Work. Take a class. Read a book. Watch a movie. Go outside. Walk the dog. Clean the house. DO SOMETHING!! This was also very true when I would go to bed. If I was going to bed just because it was “bedtime”, I was more likely to sit and my brain starts going through the same things. I learned quickly to not even contemplate getting into bed until I was dead tired! Making sure I was at that level of fatigue where if I couldn’t go to bed, I’d probably start whining and crying! Not necessarily a glamorous look, but hey, you do what works!
After meeting others going through the same thing, it became clear this was an issue for many others as well! The newer you are to being clean and sober, the more this seems to be an issue.
If you find yourself in a place where you simply cannot come up with something to do, then go online and watch videos on YouTube. For me, personally, I stuck to nothing but movies that were either comedy or horror. If there was ANY chance it contained a scene that would make me tear up, it was temporarily banned! (There goes all those Disney movies!)