What do you want from life? Many people will answer happiness, but peace is also high on the list of priorities for many people. Finding and getting sober can help you connect with a peaceful and serene life, that would have been hard to imagine in your days of active addiction.
What is serenity?
Most people have heard of serenity, but few take a moment to consider what it really means. The definition of serenity is “the state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled.”
Think about that for a moment — doesn’t it sound like a beautiful way to life your life? Serenity can affect all areas of your life. When you’re calm, peaceful and untroubled, you’re more relaxed and friendly in your relationships, more focused on your work, and better able to find peace with yourself.
You’re also better able to deal with challenges. For many people, having serenity means peace amid the tumultuousness of life. By acknowledging that some things are beyond your control, you are able to focus on the things that are within your power — like your sobriety — and not waste your emotional, mental or spiritual energy trying to control things that are beyond your control, like how other people react to you.
Is serenity the opposite of addiction?
Living with active addiction is a painful and chaotic existence. Most people abuse drugs or alcohol to try to escape from some feeling of pain or unrest. While abusing substances might make life seem more serene momentarily — when you’re high or drunk and not focused on your troubles — that’s just a temporary solution. In fact, you’re not increasing your serenity through drug use or abuse, you’re just adding to the chaos and unrest by compounding your bad decisions.
To really live a serene life you need to recognize that drugs and alcohol are not the solution. In reality, they only move you further away from a serene and peaceful life. Once you are willing to give up drugs and alcohol, you’re able to pursue true serenity.
Serenity without substances.
The first step toward living a serene life is to stop using drugs or alcohol. After all, addiction just adds to your worries. A treatment program can help you detox from your substance of choice and begin living soberly.
However, to really live in peace you need to address the underlying issues that contributed to your addiction. Of course, there is a biological component to addiction. However, most people who abuse substances also have a psychological reason as well. You may be trying to self-medicate an undiagnosed or misdiagnosed mental illness. Or, you might be trying to cope with past trauma from childhood or later in life.
Under the guidance of mental health and therapists, you can explore your reason for abusing substances. By healing these wounds and stabilizing your mind, you’ll be able to stay sober long term and focus on building a calm and peaceful life, maybe for the first time ever.
Maintaining serenity in the longterm.
When you leave treatment, you might feel like you have figured out how to life a sober and serene life. However, just like recovery, serenity requires an ongoing maintenance program.
To figure out what this should look like for you, think about what makes you feel peaceful and calm. It might be meditation, artistic pursuits or exercise. Perhaps music or running makes you feel at peace. Once you find something that builds up your feeling of serenity, find ways to incorporate it into your routine, either daily or weekly.
Remember that you don’t have to use big blocks of time or grand endeavors in order to get the benefit of peacefulness. Even incorporating simple routines into your day can promote a sense of serenity. Sitting down to savor your morning cup or coffee or tea can remind you to slow down throughout the day; and an evening walk around the block can help you reflect and unwind.
Building a serene and sober life takes work, but it is well worth the effort. Fostering a sense of serenity can reduce your stress and improve your overall wellbeing. Nothing is more important than that.