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When you are in active addiction, your entire world is centered around that addiction. You think only of getting that drug, where you are going to use it, or who you are going to use it with. Your life has changed a lot since then. You had to learn how to survive without that substance, what to do with your free time, and who was there to support you when you really needed it. However, we all have fears and worries even when we have been in recovery for years. One worry that a lot of people in recovery fear is the possibility of becoming addicted again. Some people may never touch their substance of choice again, but become addicted to something new. Sometimes this can be okay and not cause harm. It may even be healthy. There are situations, however, when this could become a problem. Let’s take a closer look at what it may look like to form a new addiction. 

Why Do We Replace Our Addiction 

We may find that our body and mind form new repetitive motions. Many times this repetition mimics our prior addiction. Sometimes this can be healthy, while other times we may want to think more closely about what we are doing. 

For many people, addiction is the symptom of other core issues. Some individuals have other mental health issues that affected their addiction. Others may have had trauma or other deep-rooted issues that connected to their use of substances. When you decided to seek help for your addiction, there is a good chance you also received help for other issues you had. Most core issues take time to heal and work through. This is why it is so essential to keep working with a mental health professional even after you are no longer addicted to a substance. 

Another reason we may replace our addiction is simply that we still connect to that feel-good moment that our addiction gave us. Early on in recovery, this can be challenging. Our addiction probably connected us to certain friends, activities, and moments. It probably had a sense of excitement or thrill to it. It can be easy to transfer those feelings to a new activity, situation, or substance if we are not careful. 

What It Looks Like

Sometimes replacing our addiction with something new is not a bad thing. Many people explore new hobbies or activities once in recovery and learn that they actually really enjoy it. A lot of people turn towards exercise or some sort of physical activity. Running can be an amazing activity and one that a lot of people in recovery like to explore. Running can give a sense of achievement when you hit a certain distance, a sense of discipline, and a way to connect with others. If the activity you turn to has many benefits, then it may not be something that should really be of major concern. 

It is when that new activity or addiction has negative attributes that it should be examined a little bit more closely. The first thing to consider or question is whether or not the activity is bad for your health? If you have replaced your addiction with a new illegal substance or something that is bad for your health, then that would be a problem to seek help for. Does the activity hurt others? Have you become addicted to the point that you are neglecting children, other family members, or responsibilities? If so, then there may be a problem. Even something that has positive attributes on the surface may have underlying problems. Are you so focused on exercise that you cannot think of anything else? Are you exercising to lose weight to the point where it has become an unhealthy obsession? 

Analyze Your Actions

As you enter recovery, you may find it helpful to simply take some time every week to think about what you have done, what activities you enjoyed, or what was not successful about your week. This will help you to realize if you are turning to activities in a healthy and productive way, or if you are masking other issues. Understanding your feelings and your actions is a very important component to recovery and overall mental health. If we can understand how we feel and why we are doing what we are doing, then we can work with ourselves to lead healthy and productive lives. Catching problems early can help us to recover and understand where we should have made different choices. 

Working through recovery is an ever-evolving process. We have to relearn to live our lives in a way that is not negative or harmful. We face so many changes, challenges, and rewards on a daily basis. Learning to not transfer our former addiction to a different harmful addiction is very important.  Many people find new and exciting hobbies or activities to enjoy post-addiction. Once we are free from our addiction and work on other mental health issues, we learn so much about ourselves. Taking the time to analyze our choices and our actions can help us to determine if we are forming new addictions that may be harmful. Sometimes this can be hard to analyze by ourselves. Here at The Guest House we are ready to help you work through any situation or struggle you may be facing, regardless of where you are in the recovery process. Call us today to learn more about our different treatment options, and how we can help you at (855) 483-7800.