Boredom in Addiction 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 from 3rd April, 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.....

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.

As the poster sais, boredom is ONLY a state of mind. 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:

My next article is on Bereavement, stay tuned.

The article "Recovery from Addiction Series" Boredom is 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 click on the blue box below.

Growth in Recovery and in life, takes commitment & courage, but if you are not willing to take a risk, and push your boundaries, even a little then you will be stuck where you are, until you do.

If, like me & you are in recovery, then I know your pain & you have been to hell and back. But think of this, you are not a victim, but a survivor and as a survivor you deserve to give yourself every opportunity you possibly can. "Keep breaking the mould and keep it real"

The next journey in my recovery was to go down the route of Internet Affiliate Marketing, it is the future. I challenge you to click the link below, watch the no obligation 7 day videos and then decide from there.
Thank you for reading.

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