I’m not we are always the best example [to others] of someone living a fulfilling and meaningful life in recovery because everyone’s life is made up of a unique set experiences and responses to those experiences that shape us. In my case, I’m just trying to be “present”, to turn up as the authentic me in all aspects of my life in recovery. I don’t always manage it and sometimes when I do, the authentic me can make my life harder e.g., If I’m asked what I think about something I usually say, and sometimes (quite often) it can put the cat among the pigeons.
I also can’t help helping, and often my life in recovery feels it’s at its best when I’m helping someone solve a problem, meet a goal, or get closer to realising a dream they have. Mostly all I do is listen or act as a sounding board and occasionally I have a contact that I can connect the person to.
As I’ve been writing this, my wife popped into my office and showed me a small quilt sample that she’d just finished. It’s called a KWANDI quilt and is a hand-stitched quilt, made from scrap fabric. These quilts are known for their distinctive and improvisational style, with bold colours and geometric shapes and they often defy traditional quilt patterns.
As she showed me the small, improvised pieces of scrap cloth, roughly stitched together it made me think it was a perfect image for this article. We grow into our lives and our lives are often a collection of “scraps”, put together in an improvised way.
Living a fulfilling life means different things to different people, as everyone has their own unique goals, values, and priorities and their collection of ‘scraps’ to stitch together. Despite this there are some common principles or strategies that might help guide you towards a more fulfilling life in Recovery
1. Identify your passions: Think about what activities you enjoy and what brings you a sense of purpose. Engage in hobbies or activities that make you happy and give you a sense of accomplishment.
2. Aim at something and set realistic and achievable goals for yourself. This could be anything from pursuing education or a new career to improving your health or building stronger relationships.
3. Stay motivated by keeping track of your progress and celebrating your accomplishments, no matter how small.
4. Cultivate healthy relationships with family, friends, and other people in recovery. Consider joining a support group or finding a mentor who can provide guidance and support.
5. Volunteering or helping others can give you a sense of purpose and help you stay focused on the positive aspects of life.
6. Take care of your physical and emotional health by getting enough rest, eating well, exercising, and seeking professional help if needed.
A fulfilling life doesn’t mean a problem free life, working at it means we cherish it but it’s important to be patient and kind to ourselves. Focusing on our passions, goals, and relationships means we can build a fulfilling and meaningful life in recovery.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this lent series and now that its complete we plan to turn the series into a Recovery Journey Guide and we’ll add some other resources, worksheets etc, to the final product which I hope you’ll find useful.