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Discovering a Sense of Purpose in Sobriety

In a state of active addiction, we rarely considered that our lives may have a greater purpose or meaning. Many of us resigned ourselves to a life of addiction and alcoholism, and did not believe that there was more out there for us. In sobriety, however, we come to realize that we have been gifted with a sense of purpose. We are finally able to live a life of deep meaning and spirituality.

In addiction, our happiness was dependent on substances. Our lives were entirely devoid of joy until we experienced a fleeting moment of relief from drug or alcohol use. In sobriety, however, we discover a new sense of happiness. This form of happiness, known as “eudaimonic happiness,” arises out of a living a life of fulfilment and meeting our potential. A 2001 article in the Annual Review of Psychology, entitled On Happiness and Human Potentials: A Review of Research on Hedonic and Eudaimonic Well-Being, explains, “Well-being is a complex construct that concerns optimal experience and functioning. Current research on well-being has been derived from two general perspectives: the hedonic approach, which focuses on happiness and defines well-being in terms of pleasure attainment and pain avoidance; and the eudaimonic approach, which focuses on meaning and self-realization and defines well-being in terms of the degree to which a person is fully functioning.” Through recovery, we are shifting our reliance from the hedonic approach to the eudaimonic approach. In other words, we are turning to meaning and fulfillment for happiness rather than drug and other external things that provide momentary pleasure.

Living the life suggested by our program of recovery can provide us with a sense of eudaimonic happiness by giving us purpose and meaning. Neurologist and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl, in his book Man’s Search for Meaning, explains, “As each situation in life represent a challenge to man and presents a problem for him to solve, the question of the meaning of life may actually be reversed. Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather he must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.” We are faced with the challenge of overcoming addiction, and by meeting this challenge and turning our attention to helping others, we are given a new sense of meaning and purpose. As we continue to fulfill our potential in sobriety, and continue to meet challenges whenever they appear, we find a deeper sense of happiness than we ever thought possible.

You can make the decision to seek help now to overcome addiction and alcoholism. You can embark upon the rewarding journey of recovery and begin building a life of happiness, joyousness, and freedom in sobriety. Resilient House in Louisiana offers Residential Treatment which includes medically-supported detoxification, maintenance care, individual therapies, counseling (including family therapy), and plans to help clients build life skills that will help them after discharge. For information about Residential Treatment and other treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431