Recovery: Filling Your Empty Self

Have you ever just had a feeling of emptiness? Maybe it was when you were new to college and your major was still undecided… You might have felt empty because you just weren’t sure what you wanted to do with your life.

Or maybe it was just during a down time in your life, maybe you were struggling with some depression and anxiety and just found yourself feeling empty. Like there was nothing inside of you.

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Or it could have even been before you found the Lord. You might have just felt like there was an emptiness in your heart that you just could not feel.

It is likely that you have felt empty at some point in your life. Especially when a major life change happens, you might find yourself feeling empty without whatever it was that you once had. And that is okay. But for someone who has struggled with addiction and is now in recovery, they can find themselves feeling this way and it might just be unbearable.

Things like feeling empty can cause a former addict to relapse.

While it might not be possible to avoid that empty feeling once you give up your addiction, seeing as how it has likely been part of your life for a while, there are ways to help fill yourself back up. And these are healthier ways:

Start by talking about your feelings.

This can be to a therapist, to a close friend or family member, or even just journaling your feelings. One of the best ways to start overcoming those sad, lonely feelings is to try and better understand them.

This can also lead you to someone who might have been in this same position and can share with you how they too filled their empty void.

Identify the void.

Obviously, the void was left by your addiction. But what exactly did it leave a void for? Was it something you thought helped with your anxiety? Did it excite you? Did it cure your boredom? Did it offer you more friends? Or maybe just more confidence?

To be able to adequately fill the void of drugs and/or alcohol, you first need to identify what it was that the substance was providing you that you are now missing.

Find a healthy replacement.

While this can be challenging at first, once you begin to realize that your new, healthier activity likely offers the same benefits but also more because it doesn’t bring about all the negative consequences of addiction, you will want to keep doing it.

For example, you might find that exercise gives you that boost of energy you were looking for. Or that meditation gives you that sense of peace you so desperately crave.

It all takes effort, but you can do it.

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