Today, let’s not focus on the sweet deception of perfection that is doing meth. Let us instead focus on not doing it since that is ultimately the goal here, right?
15 Things To Do Instead of Crystal Meth (or whatever your drug of choice is)
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. This list is very much just opinions and suggestions based on what helped me or other people I know.
1. Get a Pet
Love is a necessity, and you’re going to need all the love you can get during your recovery. While you definitely need to fill your life with positive people, an animal can be the perfect companion to love on during your recovery. Also, having a pet gets you back into a routine of normalcy and accountability.
2. Go to church
If you are religious at all, finding comfort and companionship with a church can be very beneficial to you in your sobriety. Even if you don’t have a regular church you go to, start exploring. Find a church you like with people who accept you. You don’t have to agree with every part of any single religion to go to God’s house.
I know, who wants to work, right? In reality it’s not only beneficial, but necessary. You may not be able to work in the very beginning of your recovery due to health issues or being bat shit crazy like I was at first. But in my experience, go to work as soon as you are able to. Working keeps you busy, keeps you away from drugs for 8 hours of your day, and keeps you making money instead of spending it. Also, through work you can build friendships with coworkers who don’t know about your junkie past. This will help you move on from the trauma of drug abuse.
4. Start a Garden
Gardening is a relatively easy and surprisingly rewarding way to spend your time. I just started a garden recently now that I have a yard again and it has become my obsession. Also, it’s something you can get your kids involved with, if you have any. Your garden can be flowers or vegetables or spices, whatever you want to plant. Don’t worry about if your garden is pretty or practical. I’m growing radishes right now and I will never eat radishes. The point is just to keep yourself busy while learning how the earth grows it’s own life. Gardening keeps me grounded, no pun intended.
5. Rekindle your relationships
During your addiction, you most likely alienated yourself from your family and friends. Start trying to rekindle these relationships. Plan a meet up with good friends, offer to do chores for your grandma, go to your cousins baby shower, etc. Not only will this help you get back to a normal frame of mind, but it also shows your friends and family that you are trying to become part of the team again.
A new view can help you put together a new life. When I first quit meth, every thing in my apartment disgusted me. I couldn’t look at anything in my own home without some horrible memory of using meth and all I lost from using meth coming back to my mind. I ended up getting evicted two months into my recovery but looking back now it was a blessing. Once I got out of the place I had all these memories in, my recovery seemed much easier.
Moving not an option? Try to make your place look different. Redecorate, rearrange your furniture, or switch bedrooms. The point is to not be reminded of your drug days so go wild and try a completely new style to represent your new life. Before I got evicted from my apartment I ended up moving my bed into the living room because just being in my bedroom, where I smoked had for years smoked meth, made me want to smoke meth more.
8. Smoke Weed/Drink
I know this is going against every NA principle and this option is not for everyone but I smoke weed and I drink. I smoked for 15 years straight before I got addicted to meth and I probably won’t ever stop smoking weed completely. But use caution: I really wouldn’t recommend touching alcohol, weed, or any other mind altering substance until at least 6 months into your recovery. When I tried to drink in the beginning of my recovery, it made me become a complete psychopath. Now, once in a while drinking or smoking an occasional joint is a great way I let off steam. I consider it my “cheat day” like people on diets do. I won’t let myself cheat with hard drugs, but weed or a margarita every now and then helps me feel like I’m not trapped in sobriety.
9. Plan your future/goals
You know that phrase “today is the first day of the rest of your life”? To me, that phrase was made for the recovering addict. You have a whole future ahead of you. Yes, you are in for a rough rode of recovering from your addiction but there are so many good things in store for you too. Get a jump start on your new life but giving some thought to what you want to do and then make a plan for doing it. It’s okay if that plan ends up changing along the way. Writing down your goals and plans gives you a firm sense of what direction forward is.
Do you really need me to explain this one to you? I didn’t think so
We drug addicts aren’t usually world travelers, huh? Because where are we going to get our shit in a place where we know no one? Now that you don’t have that monkey on your back, go see some new places and experience other cultures. Don’t have funds for traveling? See some local sights. I live in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex and there are tons of museums, historical markers, and just cool sights to see that I never really knew about before. Look up your local convention and visitors bureau for a listing of popular sights near you.
You could do this through church or you could find an organization like Toys for Tots or your local food bank. Also, think about volunteering for programs that help other addicts (only if you are confident you won’t get tempted to use again). Use the experience you have had to help others going through what you went through. Whatever you do, focus on finding an outlet that lets you help others. Helping others cleanses the soul.
You’ve put your poor little body through hell and it’s now probably weak and malnourished. Since you are eating again, you are going to start gaining weight, which is good. Get in a routine of exercising now to strengthen and build your body back up. Also, what no one told me before I quit was how much weight I was going to gain after quitting. It’s like your body just can’t lose weight on it’s own anymore. Occasionally, I will get the urge to do drugs just to lose the weight. If I had gotten into a routine of working my body out from the beginning, I probably wouldn’t be struggling with being overweight now.
I am not an artist in the slightest. I can’t draw or paint or sing or tattoo. But I can color. So I choose to do adult coloring books as my art. It’s very relaxing and I can feel good about creating something pretty after I finish. It may sound strange, but my level of focus when I color these pictures is similar to the focus I would have when doing a project on meth. However, it doesn’t feel like a trigger, it doesn’t make me want to do meth. I also have done those really intricate paint by numbers you see at hobby stores and those are fun too.
Your mind is your own again. Now, it’s time to develop that sucker. Whether it be learning a new language, learning about a specific era in history, or learning about the periodic table of elements, learning about something that interests you helps keep your mind focused and not thinking about drugs. Try reading a book a month or taking a course at the local community college. For the first year after I quit drugs, I felt like my mind was slower to comprehend than it had been before I did drugs. The more I try to learn, the faster my mind can process the day to day obstacles I need to focus on.
Please feel free to add to this list. Let me know what you do to keep your mind off drugs. If idle hands are the devil’s workshop, keep yours busy as hell!