We hear in recovery counseling a lot about people who turn to substance use in a search for joy or pleasure in an otherwise miserable or unhappy life. As understandable and universal as the desire for happiness is to all of us, it’s well understood that the fleeting rush afforded by drugs and alcohol are not going to solve the long term problem of your perpetual unhappiness. Even after you deal with the drug addiction and find your way through recovery, there are going to be bad days and let-downs. So the questions is, how do you handle this and where do you find happiness?
The Big Secret
It might not be a secret at all but it still seems to come as a tough thing to grasp for most people. The reality of happiness is that your attitude and perspective are everything. There is certainly a chemical basis for joy and pleasure, demonstrated by the release of dopamine hormones in the brain, and for depression as well. But in a more general sense, it’s only you that can determine your viewpoint of the world.
Every day we have a new opportunity to greet the world, engage with people, and interact with hobbies and interests. It’s fully within our power to accept these things with gratitude and humility but we often default to the knee-jerk attitude of “that’s not good enough” or “where’s mine?”
Attitude is often the primary culprit for people who seem unhappy every day. Barring any clinically diagnosed chemical basis for depression or mood disorders, persistent misery is often easily changed by a shift in our perspective on things. If you see the world as full of opportunity and generally good people, then there are ample opportunities to find happiness and chase your dreams. However, if you’re convinced that life is a bag of rotten apples and people are inherently evil morons, then you’ll walk around in a persistent cloud of pain.
You are responsible for your own happiness. That might mean making the decision to get clean and kick addiction. It might mean choosing to treat people differently. At the end of the day, you have to look yourself in the mirror and ask “What did I do to create happiness for myself today?”
If you struggle with depression, anxiety, or substance abuse as a result of these issues, contact Lead Treatment Center for advice on how to recover. Our lines are always open 800.380.0012.