Time and energy are the double-edged swords of sobriety.
During our active years of addiction, most of us had little time and less energy. Our days were consumed with when and where we would get the next drink or fix. Everything else had to be fitted into the day around those concerns, and the ultimate activity of drinking or drugging. The next morning we had to drag ourselves out of bed, shake off the day before, and start the process all over again.
Early recovery is time and energy consuming as well. Perhaps we are in the hospital. Perhaps we are in a rehab facility. Perhaps we are going to meetings several times and day, and trying to keep a job and a family going. In any event, we are holding on for dear life, and it is all we can do to stay clean and put one foot in front of the other. We are very busy, our sleep patterns are not good, and we are tired.
Months later, or maybe a year later, we suddenly notice that we have time and energy that we haven’t had in years. On a Saturday morning with nothing planned, and a good night’s sleep behind us, we find ourselves with both time and energy…and nowhere to spend them! We are bored. The day looks empty.
If we are alone at this time, it is worse. A morning that is a testimony to our progress, something to be celebrated, can take a strange turn into a quiet despair. Nothing to do. No one to see. Life was never this empty in the good old days. It is easy to fall into day dreams of our past life. If we are not careful it is easy to slip.
Depending on where you are in your journey, this “problem” of time and energy may seem like nonsense, or you may have already been there. Regardless of where each of us are in this story, we must be prepared to deal with it.
One way of being sure you can deal is to keep a list of things you’ve always wanted to do. Some questions may help with this: Where have you been meaning to go in your local area? What movie have you been meaning to see? What hobby have you wanted to spend time on? What book have you wanted to read? Who have you been meaning to visit? What course have you wanted to take?
Keeping those activities in the forefront of our minds will help in avoiding the dangers of emptiness, boredom and despair.
Then the extra time and energy we have as sober individuals will allow us to focus on positive, fun, life enriching activities.