This is one of the most common questions we have as newcomers: what will life be like in recovery? We all want to know what’s going to change. Everything can change in recovery, but what changes is primarily up to us. Are we willing to do things differently? It’s going to be what we make of it, but it’s going to be better by default — as long as we’re willing to do the work and stay the course.
So, what will life be like in recovery? It’s still going to be life. Some things aren’t going to change much. We’ll still need to work and have shelter, friends and family, and hobbies. Sometimes things will go well, and sometimes they’ll go differently than we’d like them to. There will be joy, heartache, surprise, chaos, routine, etc. Life will still be life. Recovery offers us a daily chance to be free of our alcoholism and addiction while learning and growing as people. What recovery offers us is the opportunity to go through everyday life, understanding the beauty, experiencing the joy, and weathering the ups and downs with calm, clarity, and focus like we’ve never known before.
Life in recovery is not about paying for our lives in the disease of alcoholism and addiction. Instead, recovery is about the promise of a bright future. Even though the future is unforeseeable right now, you have a lot of say in how it goes. If you’re new to recovery or considering seeking help for your alcoholism or addiction, keep reading to learn more.
Will Life Get Boring?
The book Alcoholics Anonymous is the foundation of the 12-Step recovery program and lifestyle. In its pages, it says, “We aren’t a glum lot. If newcomers could see no joy or fun in our existence, they wouldn’t want it. We absolutely insist on enjoying life.” Did you catch that? We insist on enjoying life! Your happiness is a vital part of an effective and successful long-term recovery program. Recovery becomes challenging to maintain if you don’t enjoy your life. Thankfully, for most of us in recovery, we find our lives so much more enjoyable than we ever thought possible.
Even when things get rough, we have a community of people in recovery around us. We also have the 12-Steps to help us get through anything, and that makes the bad days in recovery a lot better than bad days in our disease ever were. People new to recovery often have the misconception that this new lifestyle means the end of fun — no more parties, no more frivolity. This couldn’t be more wrong! In recovery, we insist on enjoying life! The fun is just getting started. We can go anywhere and do anything as long as we take care of our recovery while we’re doing it.
Life is so much more fun and full in recovery, partly because we’re awake and present for all of it now. The recovery lifestyle is a social one with fun built right in, including fellowship, meetings, conventions, service events, and more.
Do I Have To Believe In God?
The short answer is no. We don’t have to believe in God to find recovery. The 12-Step program indeed asks us to believe in something greater than ourselves, but you get to choose what that something is. The higher power we find in working the 12-Steps can be anything we want it to be. It can even be the 12-Steps themselves. We don’t have to believe in God, though many of us find that it helps. We really must understand that we can’t beat alcoholism or addiction with our own power — that’s why we need the 12-Steps. To make the 12-Steps work, we need to at least acknowledge a power greater than ourselves. Unlike our own power, this higher power will be sufficient to help us find freedom and recovery.
What Will Daily Life Be Like?
Each of us has a different life, and what our days consist of is determined by our circumstances and ambitions. Daily life will still involve chores, hobbies, and responsibilities like before, except this time, we’ll actually be participating in a meaningful way. Besides the regular stuff, the recovery lifestyle gives us plenty to do all the time! There is always 12-Step work to be done with our sponsor or sponsee. Recovery meetings are happening every day. And there are always, always, ways to be of service. Besides that, there’s fun and fellowship whenever we want to reach out. Life in recovery is full, but the spiritual actions in the 12-Steps give us the energy we need to do it all.
A Life Beyond Your Wildest Dreams
If you’re new to recovery, you’ve probably heard someone say that the 12-Steps gave them a life beyond their wildest dreams. Maybe that sounded like hyperbole to you, but trust us — if you give the 12-Steps some time, willingness, honesty, and open-mindedness, you’ll soon find out for yourself how amazing life in recovery can be. It might even turn out to be wonderful beyond your wildest dreams.
Life in recovery is a beautiful, hopeful, and meaningful experience. No two of us live the same life, and the same is true in recovery. But the 12-Steps bind us together by our common disease and the shared solution. Many of us find life in recovery to be more incredible than we ever thought it could be. Like anything else, life in recovery is what we make of it. Our success is up to us. Recovery allows us to participate in life at our best as we continue to grow and help others. For many of us, this is an incredibly fulfilling way to live. At Jaywalker Lodge, we firmly believe that life in recovery is not about punishment for our past lives in the disease of alcoholism and addiction. Not at all. For Jaywalkers, life in recovery is about the promise of a bright future and the experience of a happy and purposeful life in recovery. The only way to know what life in recovery is really like is to experience it for yourself. We’re here to help you begin your journey. Call us now at (866) 529-9255.
As Chief Executive Officer Bill provides leadership and manage all day-to-day operations of Jaywalker Lodge, an extended care residential addiction treatment program for adult men.