In the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, recovering addicts are taught that there are two aspects to their addiction: cravings and obsession. People who are unfamiliar with the program may think these are one in the same, but most addicts draw a clear distinction. The obsession part involves thinking about and desire alcohol or drugs on a daily basis. Usually this obsession is so overpowering that it turns into a painful, constant desire to use and drink. Then, once you take that first drink, pill, line, or injection you’re hit with the phenomenon of craving. This whole time you had been telling yourself that “just one” would do the trick. You just needed a single glass of whiskey to get through your day. But alcoholism won’t let you stop. So the craving for more drugs and alcohol and in greater quantities begins to take hold. With narcotics like methamphetamine and heroin, this craving can be physical as well as psychological, leading people toward an ever longer path of despair.
So after giving up something that you had obsessed over and craved for every minute for the perhaps years on end, what do recovering addicts have to look forward to? Many of us begin with a program of spiritual growth. This can look different for everyone. Yes, some people begin praying or meditating several times a day. But others simply look for the spirituality of everyday life and learn to appreciate the world in a more profound way.
But we also understand that a spiritual program doesn’t work for everybody. So for many others the solution is to channel their addictive tendencies into a more productive and healthy addiction. Some people take up exercise or start running marathons, others dive head first into their careers or take up a passion for traveling. For so many of us our daily drug or alcohol usage was like an anchor weighing us down and keeping us locked in place. Remember that one of the best parts about being sober is you finally get to be whoever you want to be. So even though all things should be done in moderation, even the healthy activities, there is no shame in finally realizing that you have a passion in this world beyond shooting dope or drinking your life away. Just make sure that you have a strong support network to keep you in check and there are no limits to where you can go or what you can do.