Methods to avoid relapse and living in a hell hole

I was a heroin addict for 8 years. I have been clean for almost five. After living through the hell that is heroin addiction I had created a little world for myself that was healthier. But I was bogged down by materialism, unneeded stress, and the feeling that my life was being wasted. I decided to change that. This is a list of things I try to live by, that have helped me in the beginning stages of shifting from a life of consumption to a life of creation. Your list may be entirely different, but for me these things have become a kind of mantra.

  • Striving for consistent peace of mind: life can’t be good all the time, nor would I want it to be. But peace of mind can sustain you through the roughest of waters.
  • Finding a sense of purpose, knowing that my life is improving the world in some way.
  • Not doing things that make me unhappy (An example of this would be telemarketing. Hate is a strong word, and I would say I hated being a telemarketer. Wouldn’t do it again even if I was penniless).
  • Minimalism: not being defined or tied down by stuff (still working on this one).
  • Experiences: being open-minded to new things and places.
  • Love: not just the romantic kind. Practicing love with every person I meet. Living life with a smile and a compassionate heart instead of a frown and a frozen soul.
  • Having dreams: I don’t care if you’re 15 or 95. You can have dreams at whatever age you are. And you know what? YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH THOSE DREAMS. Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. If you encounter a person that wants to squash your dreams, get as far away from them as humanly possible. They just want to bring you down.
  • Optimism: Negativity is not only unproductive, but really annoying and life draining. It may take some time, but shifting your thoughts to a more positive outlook can do wonders for your well-being.
  • Healthy relationships: This can be with significant others, family, friends, strangers. Only relationships that are supportive and uplifting are allowed in my life. Toxic people need to be purged from your life.
  • Healthy habits: No drugs, light drinking, eight hours of sleep, exercise, meditation, healthy foods, minimal sugar intake. Your body is your vehicle: maintain it.
  • Spirituality/Higher Power: whatever you believe in, embrace it. Unless its something unhealthy or toxic. God/higher power/embracing the power of self/whatever the hell you believe: this can be the most fulfilling and exhilarating part of your life. It is the foundation of being.
  • Unadulterated perseverance: man, this one is one of the hardest yet most necessary parts of life. Not only must you have dreams and goals, but you have to be persistent and tenacious about achieving them. No laziness, no excuses. No one is going to get you to where you want to go but YOU.

This is my working list that will evolve over time. What would be a part of your list?


Originally published at on August 10, 2015.

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