by Devon Berkheiser, Psy.D.
While addictive substances and behaviors can be satisfying in the short term, they typically prevent us from engaging in activities that provide a deeper sense of meaning and fulfillment. When you overcome an addiction, you will notice an increased enjoyment in daily activities and a greater overall sense of satisfaction with life (although it may take longer than you had hoped). Higher satisfactions come not from a quick fix, but from enduring relationships with others as well as productive activity.
Relationships with other people are a crucial component of a happy, meaningful life. Take time to engage with family members and friends. Be open with your thoughts and feelings so that you can connect with others on a deep and intimate level. Reciprocate in your relationships, so that you give love and support as well as receive it. One way to start building relationships that support recovery is to say hello to people at self-help meetings.
Productive activity provides us with a sense of purpose, which leads to satisfaction and self-esteem. A job can help you feel that you are doing something meaningful with your time. Check out websites like craigslist.org or monster.com for job opportunities in your area. Volunteering is another way to feel productive. Helping other people makes us feel good about ourselves. Websites like volunteermatch.org can help you find volunteer opportunities that incorporate your interests and passions.