Today, I’d like to invite you to look at the importance of finding meaning and purpose in recovery and how it can help people stay on track with their sobriety.
Addiction can take a significant toll on a person’s sense of self-worth and purpose. Individuals in recovery often struggle with feelings of guilt, shame, and low self-esteem, which can make it difficult to find meaning and purpose in life. However, if we can find purpose in life, then we experience life as more meaningful and that sense of purpose and meaning can be a powerful motivator in addiction recovery.
Having a sense of purpose and meaning can help those in recovery to focus on their goals and priorities, which can be especially important during times of stress or temptation. Additionally, having a sense of purpose and meaning can help those in recovery to build a sense of identity and self-worth that is separate from their addiction.
So, how can people in recovery find a sense of purpose and meaning?
One way is to engage in activities that align with their values and passions. This might involve volunteering, pursuing a creative hobby, or getting involved in a community organization. These activities can provide individuals with a sense of fulfilment and purpose that goes beyond their addiction.
Another way to find meaning and purpose in recovery is to set goals and work towards them. These goals might be related to personal growth, education, or career development.
By working towards these goals, individuals can build a sense of accomplishment and pride that can help to bolster their self-esteem and sense of purpose.
It is important to remember that finding a sense of purpose and meaning in recovery is a process that takes time and effort. However, by staying committed to their recovery and exploring new opportunities for growth and development, individuals in recovery can build a fulfilling and meaningful life that is free from addiction.
Getting specific, how do we discover our values and passions in order to set the compass toward a life of purpose and meaning that’s tailored to us / me?
My own journey has taken me in a direction to try and understand my past (who I am, where I’m from, what’s happened to me) and this is primarily by writing things out. In fact, even though I’m many years into my recovery journey I remain curious and I recently signed up for a self-authoring programme – beware that there is a small cost should you choose this particular route.
In addition to understanding my past the programme helps me to discover my true self and plan an ideal future for myself. Examining my past and present and using that understanding as a platform for planning the future is in itself a purposeful activity.
Another perspective that has helped me and that we have used at Towards Recovery is looking at Viktor Frankl’s perspective and approach, “logo-therapy”.
Frankl was a psychiatrist who survived the Holocaust and wrote extensively about the importance of finding meaning in one’s experiences, even in suffering. Frankl argued that meaning could be found in three ways:
– through work or achievement,
– through love or relationships, and
– through suffering or difficult experiences.
In the context of addiction recovery, we can find meaning through achieving sobriety, building positive relationships with others, and using our experience of addiction to help others who are struggling.
Overall, the process of finding purpose and meaning in addiction recovery involves identifying what matters most to you and taking steps to align your actions with those values. This process can be challenging, but it can also be incredibly rewarding and can help support long-term recovery.