Words: Henry Moore
When life is wearing you down, don’t insist on buckling down and pushing through. Sometimes, it’s a chance to get away that you need, even when there’s a lot on your plate. And while that advice holds true for everyone, it’s especially so for people on a journey to sobriety. Addiction recovery is a challenge like no other, and self-care is central to successful recovery.
It’s not hard to understand why prioritizing your emotional and mental needs is so important during recovery, but why vacation? Taking a break from your usual routine (and usual stressors) gets you into a different headspace where it’s easier to take stock of your life and your goals. While it’s certainly possible to achieve a break from the status quo on a staycation, getting away makes it a whole lot easier.
When you exchange your home city for a vacation destination, you immerse yourself in a world where your health and happiness is the number one priority — not something you tend to after the workday is over. During addiction recovery, that means plenty of time to introspect and connect with your reasons for staying sober. You can reignite a lost passion or do something that scares you as a way to boost your self-esteem. Alternatively, you can plan a vacation focused around spiritual experiences to find inner strength and a sense of purpose. No matter your goal for vacation, there’s an experience out there for you. Here are some other ideas:
- Head to a recovery-centered retreat for a getaway focused on self-healing. You’ll have an opportunity to disconnect from the world and all its baggage and instead reconnect with your true self — all while surrounded by a supportive community that’s navigating the path to sobriety alongside you. According to an article in Alcoholism Research Quarterly, spirituality is an important component of maintaining sobriety long-term.
- Escape to the wilderness for a vacation that’s as mentally stimulating as it is physically engaging. Outdoor adventures push your limits, so you can prove to yourself just how much you’re capable of. If you have a pet that’s helped you get through dark times, an outdoor vacation is the perfect way to show him how much he means to you (and you’ll have a great trail companion too!).
- If fitness has played a big role in your recovery, plan a trip to a race or event where you can show off your hard-won gains. Training and competing in a big event reminds you of just how strong, resilient, and driven you are, both in sports and life.
- Travel with a sober travel group to discover new destinations and connect with a supportive community you can lean on long after you’re home. According to SAMHSA, encouragement from peers is essential to lasting substance abuse recovery. When you have a network of sober friends, you have people to turn to in times of need and a newfound sense of belonging after leaving a toxic community behind.
These four options are only the tip of the iceberg; there are countless vacations that can be tailored to the needs of someone recovering from addiction. The important thing is keeping your recovery at the center of your trip. Avoid triggering destinations and activities, surround yourself with people supportive of your recovery, and seek out activities that are both fun and personally meaningful. You might feel like you’ve earned a vacation from the recovery process after so much hard work, but letting your mind falter only puts your progress at risk. When you make your sobriety a priority for your vacation, you’ll come out the other side stronger and more dedicated than ever.
When you break up with someone, there’s no real handbook to tell you how to best deal with it. Sure, there’s many self help books out there, but what works for one person, may not work for you. Ultimately, you have no choice but to figure it out on your own, with time your biggest hurdle in restoring happiness to your life once again.
But time has a funny way of playing tricks on you. Sometimes a year feels like not long ago, sometimes you only met someone a month ago but it feels as though you’ve known them for a lifetime. Likewise, timing can be problematic when dealing with the end of a relationship.
One day, you’re together. The next you’re not, and before you know it, two years have flown by and you’re left wondering where the hell the last 24 months went? You know that you’ve changed in that amount of time, however a small part of you has immortalized your former lover in a world that’s stuck two years prior. How strange it is to think that you know all this information about a human being. Their likes and dislikes, or their favorite movie or genre in music, only to separate and to have no use for this information anymore.
The trouble is, this old information is deceiving, because the person you knew and loved two years ago, has now changed, just as you have, and realizing this can be difficult to come to terms with.
As many of you know, my long journey of healing had for the most part been dealt with, or so I thought. Unfortunately, in this age of social media, it’s much easier to know people’s business, and friends of friends will talk, and things will get back to you. This is how new information on a former partner will slowly filter its way to you, and just when you think that you’ve dealt with everything that needs to be dealt with, a trigger will occur and you’ll find yourself asking – why do I care? Why has this effected me? And why am I upset?
Yep, this was news to me too!
The ‘Oh I thought I had dealt with that but I mustn’t have’ moment is exactly what happened to me two weeks ago, and what resulted was an influx of forgotten insecurities that flooded my memory once again. Feelings arose that reminded me what it once felt like to not feel adequate enough for someone. Feelings that reminded me that my former partner is out there living his life and is … HAPPY?
Funnily enough, I too am happy in my new life, with my current partner who treats me like an absolute princess and who I love dearly. Having these emotions arise as a result of someone in your past causes a sense of guilt and confusion. It’s important to remember that this isn’t a reflection on the current relationship, rather feelings spawned completely from a subconscious repressed insecurity that had been pushed aside.
The truth is, I do not harbor any feelings of wanting to get back with my ex, nor do I have any resentment towards him. You can work as hard as you like on yourself. Do the self care thing, see a therapist and talk to friends. But from time to time, little things will trigger the insecurities that have been embedded into your subconscious from a past relationship.
And that’s totally okay.
It doesn’t mean you still love them.
It doesn’t mean you want to get back with them.
I can’t tell you if you’ll ever get over these insecurities. I myself don’t even know if it’s in the cards for me. What I can tell you however is to not dwell on these moments. Let them come, and let them go.
Pick yourself up – and keep doing you.
x love & light
I hope all is well, just a quick update before I get into this post, the new job is going great! I absolutely love being an editor of a growing furnishing publication. Be sure to check out www.furnishinginternational.com when you get the chance and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
The crystal healing course is also going well! I’m very happy with my results this far and I’m excited to continue with the course and to eventually be able to practice on my own clients! 🙂
I wanted to take the time to share a body of work by 23 year old photography student, Katie Joy Crawford. This post was originally shared on BuzzFeed so be sure to check it out here.
Katie has shared in photos what it feels like to have anxiety. Pictures speak a thousand words and these ones certainly do that and more! Those who understand what anxiety feels like, this will hit you right within your soul. Those who don’t, you will gain some insight into the world of anxiety so perhaps this will make you more empathetic when you hear about it.
As someone who has anxiety, and as someone who has studied photojournalism and media, I could relate these images on multiple levels.
I hope you can appreciate these photos in the same way as I did.
Love & light,