Boredom is often cited as a reason people relapse. Being thrill-seeking people, addicts and alcoholics often demand a lot from life, seeking stimulation and excitement. Sometimes this gets us into trouble. I’m from Santa Monica and when I got clean, I thought that I was facing a life of total boredom. In rehab, I learned that a life in recovery does not at all have to be boring. Yesterday I went to Six Flags Magic Mountain for the young people’s AA day. There’s nothing more exciting than roller coasters, and being surrounded by tons and tons of young people in recovery made it even better. When I was in treatment, Visions Adolescent Drug Treatment Center took us there and I remember being amazed at the huge numbers of sober teens just having a blast at Magic Mountain. I returned for the event yesterday and even ran into new residents and old residents, and it was great to be one of the recovering teens that I had looked up to not so long ago.
Part of what I learned in treatment was that I had to learn to take responsibility for my own life, including when I feel bored. As a teenager in recovery, it is easy to sit back and feel like I can still depend on my parents or peers to entertain me, but part of growing up is learning to take care of myself emotionally. Recovery has taught me to take personal responsibility and to learn how to be honest with myself. If I am feeling bored, I have to ask myself if I am looking to act out negatively, or if I am genuinely in a rut and need to change something about my life. Treatment taught me how to have constructive conversations with myself, and how to be honest about my feelings- a key tool in staying sober. I have had more fun being sober than I ever had using drugs. Being sober, I’m free. I’m free to craft the life I want for myself. It isn’t always easy, but rehab taught me how to take care of myself, one day at a time.
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