I struggled with drug addiction for many years which caused significant damage to my mind and body. I didn’t have any healthy habits. I deprived my body of nutrients because I got high instead of eating. I didn’t exercise because I had no desire to take care of myself. I didn’t meditate because I felt as though I would suffer from crazy thoughts and obsessions for as long as I lived. When I went to treatment, the facility offered several types of holistic therapy where I learned healthy habits to integrate into my new sober lifestyle.
Yoga was the first physical activity I participated in in my recovery. I struggled with a lot of obsessive thoughts when I no longer put substances in my body. Doing yoga helped me cope with these thoughts. I was challenged to place and hold my body in new positions. While focusing on holding these postures, my mind couldn’t focus on anything else. Yoga helped me slowly gain back my strength and energy as well. At the end of each yoga session, the instructor would walk us through a guided meditation, which helped me develop and connect with my spirituality
Meditation and Spirituality
I was never a religious or spiritual person. I grew up in a catholic home and the idea of organized religion was not attractive to me in any way. When I got sober, I was told that I had to find a power greater than myself to relieve me of the obsession to use drugs. Meditation helped me focus on my energy and the energy around me. I was able to push aside my obsessive thoughts and simply focus on being still and connecting with the energy in my body. Not only did meditation help me grow spiritually, but it helped relieve me of stress, anxiety, and racing thoughts. Meditation taught me methods of coping with these feelings by focusing on my breathing and exhaling the stress in my body.
When my body began to feel better through yoga and meditation, I began to crave healthy foods rather than fatty, sugary ones. It is common for people in recovery to veer towards sweets and to indulge in overeating. Eating healthy foods in appropriate portion sizes was essential to starting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle for myself. I found that eating more fruits and vegetables gave me the energy to accomplish day to day activities. When I did crave sweets, I tried to eat fruits like kiwi, strawberries, and mangos. Developing healthy eating habits helped me feel more confident about myself as a woman in recovery.
Going for a jog can be an effective way of clearing my head and starting my day. My favorite time to go for a jog is early in the morning while the sun is rising. It gets the endorphins pumping in my brain and gives me motivation to start my day right. I was also taught to utilize physical fitness when I feel stressed or angry. Exerting energy is a healthy way to get rid of negative emotions that can be harmful to one’s well being. When I feel overwhelmed or upset, I know that exercise can help me cope with my emotions. I can put my headphones in, listen to music, and go for a run to put my mind in a healthy position.
When I was young I played guitar with my dad. I loved it, and I was pretty good at it. In my addiction, I put the guitar playing aside. Music therapy causes neurological stimulation which can result in feelings of comfort and relaxation. I began to play music again as a hobby and it helped me get through rough times because it enhanced my mood. Music is a form of therapy that is personal to me and has improved my overall wellness. Using music therapy hand in hand with physical fitness and meditation, I am able to maintain my sobriety and a healthy lifestyle.
Cassidy Webb is a 24 year old avid writer from South Florida. She works for a digital marketing company that advocates spreading awareness on the disease of addiction. Her passion in life is to help others by sharing her experience, strength, and hope.
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