In our active addiction, any time spent by ourselves involved using our substance of choice in order to escape our thoughts. Now that you have made the switch from active substance abuse to sobriety, it is necessary to learn how to be alone with your thoughts in order to successfully complete your stepwork and achieve lasting sobriety. In early recovery, time alone is often uncomfortable as we desire distraction from negative thoughts and painful memories lurking in our subconscious. What can you do to make time alone bearable, and even enjoyable?
First, you should use some of your time alone to build your relationship with your higher power. Spend some time communicating with your God through prayer, and you will no longer feel alone as your higher power is always with you. Ask for help letting go of the negative thoughts and feelings which are preying on your mind so you can make peace with your past and return to a life in the present. After spending some time communicating with your higher power, try meditating for a few minutes, seeking awareness of the thoughts flowing through your mind. Awareness of your thoughts is key to successfully changing them, forming new healthy beliefs to replace old negative ones.
After you have spoken with your higher power and cleared your mind, alone time is a great opportunity to broaden your knowledge base, either about recovery or other interests in your life. Reading books seems to have fallen out of favor in today’s society, but this is an excellent way to exercise your brain and expand your intellect. Even reading fiction will improve your vocabulary and ability to process written information. Reading a book is a great way to spend your alone time, providing a healthy activity you can enjoy by yourself while avoiding getting stuck in negative thoughts and feelings.
Learning to enjoy time alone is an important part of recovery, as in our active addiciton time alone was spent using our substance of choice in order to escape our thoughts and feelings. This escapism cannot continue in sobriety, and you should instead rely on prayer and meditation in order to process and let go of this negative thinking. With time and practice, you will master the ability to deal with the negative thoughts and feelings that surface when you are left by yourself in a healthy way. Above all else, you must not engage in any unhealthy escapist behaviors such as bingeing on food or television. So long as you choose healthy activities during your alone time, you will come to enjoy this peaceful solitude and put it to good use, expanding your mind and progressing in your recovery!