Beat the boredom: Why having fun is key for your addiction recovery

Beat the boredom: Why having fun is key for your addiction recovery


Hello everyone, my name is Henk Nagel, I’m
originally from Holland and I’m working at Hope Rehab for four years now. Today we’re going to talk about fun in recovery
but also about boredom and fun in recovery because boredom is quite a big thing people
experience after they stop using drugs. Some people might say boredom is a choice
because it means you’re rejecting everything you can do and you choose to be bored. There’s also a different element that plays
a factor in it and people in addiction, they’re used to a high level of stimulation of the
reward centre in the brain and normal things that other people enjoy, they don’t give
the same stimulation as a chemical like crystal meth or cocaine or something like that. So, what other people perceive as pleasure,
the addicts might not really perceive it as pleasure and sometimes even as boring, so
that is a thing many people experience after they stop using drugs. Fun in recovery, I’m going to tell a bit
about myself, I’m going to tell a bit about why it’s so important and also what we do
at Hope because that’s also important. Now, for myself, I went to my last treatment
centre and I was prepared for a lot of things but I was not prepared for the amount of time
I had after treatment. The years of addiction, all my time went on
making money to use drugs and using drugs and I didn’t have any hobbies, I didn’t know
what I liked, because I’d lived like an addict for many years. So, when I came home after treatment I had
an ocean of time and I didn’t know what to do with myself, because you can’t work 20
hours a day, at the end there is free time and I needed to deal with that free time. So I had a conversation with my sponsor and
with my support from the fellowship and he said, if you don’t know what you like you can start a whole
route of experience and see what you like. So I started to do all kinds of different
things and I did scuba diving, I did kite surfing, I learned how to sail a boat on the
big lakes in Holland. I started running and I started doing all
kinds of things I wasn’t used to. I started fishing, I started doing things
and making a selection of the things I liked and I enjoyed, and that’s been really important
for my recovery. At Hope, in the beginning of Hope when me
and Simon and other staff, we had done our own treatments and we had our experience of
working in treatment also, and we looked at, OK, from all the treatment centres we have
experience from either as a client or as a staff member, what did we like and what did we
not like and what helped us and what didn’t help us? And then we made a selection of things that
had been really beneficial for our recovery and we implemented that in a programme and
also fun in recovery, because leading an enjoyable life really decreases the chances of a relapse
because you’re having a good time. The use of drugs, the need to use drugs, gets
less and less and that, as you understand, is very important to achieve long term abstinence. What we do at Hope is, we of course have the
therapeutic programme but we take them basket balling, swimming, we take them to the beach,
bowling, all kinds of things in addition to the therapeutic programme to enjoy life. Most of our clients, not in the first stage because
they’re in transition, but later they’re saying like, I have such a good time and I learned how to laugh
again, like a real belly laugh, with the other clients. Because many addicts are really funny actually,
and it’s so good for the people to see them laughing and see them enjoying themselves
and looking forward to living life with normal enjoyment and other pleasurable things like
exercise and hobbies and all those things. It’s an important part of the programme
and we think it’s also a very important part of people’s recovery and people’s
success rate in building a long term recovery, OK? It was a short video, I want to thank you
for watching it, wishing you all the best, bye.

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