When working with residents at AToN Center, they often describe boredom as a very difficult challenge for them when they are just getting into sobriety.
The kind of boredom experienced in early recovery is not the same as having little to do on a Sunday afternoon. This feeling is one of restlessness, tension, worry, agitation, or just generally wanting to jump out of your skin. During one’s addiction, the brain is saturated in mood-elevating and altering chemicals that are provided with minimal amounts of effort. Once these chemicals are removed, the brain can throw a series of “tantrums” making a person feel uncomfortable in an effort to get back to using.
Fortunately, if you are mindful of your thinking, you can catch thoughts such as, “I have nothing to do” or “Everything is lame” or “I don’t want to…” and work on these ideas. It could be more beneficial to fight this discomfort by saying, “I’ll feel better after going out,” or “I can call people and ask for help” or “This won’t last forever.” Your efforts, persistence, and dedication to a healthy lifestyle will pay off.
Chad K. Cox PsyD
AToN Center 888-535-1516