Boredom in Recovery

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[ bawr-d uhm, bohr-]
the state of being bored; tedium; ennui.
Related Question: What are the synonyms for boredom?

Hi it's Dermot again. If you read my last blog, you will know that this is a follow up to that blog and part of a "Recovery from Addiction Series", If not read on:


If you find my articles extremely boring!! I won't hold it against you, but lets just look at boredom here for a minute (boring).

Everyone's boredom threshold is totally different, all depending on the level of stimulation each of us requires. Children need constant stimulation and need to be active. They cannot tolerate boredom, and likely so, they are little learning machines absorbing the World around them.

I have found that as I have grown older I have been able to occupy myself and alleviate boredom by self stimulation, like reading a book, going for a walk, listening to music. taking on new hobbies and investments....

This was not always the case for me, when I was in early recovery my main source of stimulation was removed, and that was the alcohol. Not only was alcohol physically removed but so was my whole life around it. I suddendly came to see just how much spare time I had on my hands.

During my time of active addiction, all of my awake time was Preoccupied with alcohol. I was planning it from the time I awoke, until the time I actualy took a drink. This lasted the whole day and everything revolved around that. I had no time to be bored as my mind was occupied.

So once the addictive behaviour is stopped in early recovery, so are a lot of habits, routines, and thought processes. If you have nothing to replace that, then you are definately going to get bored. (Idle hands make the devil's work).

I was lucky as I had a job to go to when I got out of treatment, which helped replace the idle time, or boredom time. I also hit the gym (cross addiction, so to say, but that is a subject for another day).

In my work, I do deal with alot of people who are long term unemployed and not in any form of training or education. They go from a treatment centre environment, which is busy, back home to an existing environment. Most people have absolutely no plans and many have never set goals in their lives either. They have no prospects and boredom kicks in straight away. There is only so much television, or walking the dog anyone can do.

In those cases, boredom is a huge trigger for relapse, and unless they occupy themselves with alternate forms of motivation, they will relapse again. So boredom in recovery can literally mean life or death for many.

When people complete their Continuing Care Plan before they leave treatment, in the column where it asks what are their concerns/fears for going home?, atleast 70% but down boredom as a concern. They have already predetermined that they will be bored. When asked what can they do about it or to aleviate it, most have no idea at all.

Most people look at recovery as this mountain they have to climb and don't know where to start. It is just one day at a time and has to be addressed on that basis, otherwise overwhelm sets in, people give up and boredom creeps back in again.

How do I tackle this mountain? - Routine & balance. Not easy to do but it is do able.

There are absolutely loads of things you can do besides drink, drug, gamble. Just look at the internet. You could literally spend a lifetime surfing the web and everything else you can do on it, even make a living. The link below has a more specific 12 keys to manage boredom, see link at the bottom of the page:

My next article is on Bereavement, stay tuned.

The articles in "Recovery from Addiction" Series, are the opinion of the author and if you would like to contribute to it, please leave a comment in the comment box below. If you want to subscribe, for free, to any further blogs of mine please leave your email in the blue box below.

Recovery is about growth and everyone does grow at a different pace. My advice to anyone in early recovery is to wait at least 2 years before making any major life changing decisions that might have emotional ramifications. An example: get a mortgage, get married, change career, emigrate. In light of this everyone has dreams and we all do want to better our lives in one way or another, so it is important in early recovery to start to put those dreams into reality by creating achievable goals which can be reached in time. I found in my early recovery, although I had dreams, I wasn’t aware of creating goals and my life unfolded by default. It turned out well for me, but had I had clear goals, I do feel that it would have been even better.

I do try to learn from my mistakes, and that is why they are little miracles in themselves that happen for a reason. I am a growth seeking being I will continue to seek change in myself. What motivates me is the Pain – Pleasure, which moves me away from my pain points (a lack of finances, time & peace of mind) to my pleasure points (freedom of finances, time & peace of mind). The way I have found to achieve this freedom and to move away from the “Groundhog Day” of life is through on line marketing. I have taken this step into the abyss, I’m not tech savvy at all, and with the support of SFM, I am working my way through it. The internet is here to stay and is the future for all of us, so don’t get left behind because it is gaining momentum. If you want to learn what I am learning and are in a point in your life where you want change, then I offer you, through my mentors, a no obligation FREE 7 day video series to watch.

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