The short answer is no, staying busy in recovery is not a solution to stopping.

Often, people new to sobriety think that if they can just stay busy in recovery they will be able to be free from addiction.

They might start working out, they might even get a personal trainer. They will start new hobbies, visit friends and try to do everything they can to not think about drinking.

This strategy doesn’t work for the true alcoholic or addict. It misses a common understanding of addiction and alcoholism.

However, we are not suggesting that you avoid doing things that are fulfilling. Journaling, exercising, taking walks in the park or in nature are all fulfilling activities.

These activities are healthy. But they are not the solution you need to stay stopped.

And if you are an addict that was completely saturated with alcohol or drugs, it’s going to be difficult to suddenly change by staying busy.

Addiction is a 3-Fold Problem

At a certain point in an alcoholic’s career, he or she crosses a line where willpower becomes non-existent.

As the Big Book states, we develop a mental obsession to drink and use. We get restless, irritable, and discontented — and despite the consequences of the past — a drink or using again sounds like a good idea. Even if you stay busy and distract yourself, you will get to the point where drinking sounds like a good idea.

The true problem of the alcoholic or addict is that we have a spiritual malady. It’s a three-fold disease.

We feel like we are crawling out of our own skin. We don’t feel like we belong. We feel like we have a hole that we must constantly fill.

When this is the main problem, no matter what we do to keep our minds busy, we will still feel the same. Sure, working out and exercising might change how we feel temporarily. But eventually, we are going to want to feel different.

We’re going to get to the place where the solution of exercise will wear off.

So What is The Actual Solution?

The solution is having a spiritual awakening, a spiritual experience, or a huge emotional rearrangement. All of these are listed in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.

This type of change in our psyche cannot come from simply working out. We need to create new pathways in our minds.

We need to create a new way of living, a different way to respond to life. We need to look at ourselves and our behaviors and see where we need to change.

Staying busy does none of these.

Need Help?

If you need help making a change, need to learn life skills and need additional therapy and treatment, call our admissions line to learn more about our program.