People that have crossed over from being an addict to a recovering addict have a lot to be proud of. They stopped using the substance that has been controlling their lives. They have fought through the withdrawal symptoms and given their body the chance to finally heal. It is not an easy road to travel and many people do fail. Relapse is a normal occurrence for those in recovery because many addicts are not ready to take the necessary steps or they are not being treated in the proper way. Some addicts can not get clean on their own. They need the help of others and sometimes professional rehabilitation centers.
When an addict does find their way to recovery, staying clean can be quite a challenge, especially in the first year. Every way that they used to live has changed. When you are an active user, your main concern in every part of your life is your drugs. If you do not have them, you know the withdrawals won't be far behind. Addiction becomes so powerful that even the simplest tasks seems impossible without the drug in one's system.
I am often contacted by someone who is new to recovery. They find that they have so much free time now that they are clean. They are no longer chasing after their drugs, or finding ways to get money to get their drugs. Whatever the reason, extra time can be a major downfall. I always recommend that recovering addicts fill their schedules as much as possible in the first year. Do not let yourself get bored. You need to have a full schedule and if you do find that you have some free time, make sure you have things at your disposal to keep you busy.
One of the best ways to fill free time is to help others or share your story. NA (Narcotics Anonymous) meetings are going on at all hours of the day around you. If you can get to a meeting and listen to like-minded people, share your story to inspire those who will listen. Sharing your story can be very therapeutic. There is no better way to fill your time than to help other people. To this day, in my free time I answer emails, phone calls and text messages. I do this because it feels so good to help others. It gives me a purpose to keep going and keep working as hard as I do.