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“OK, I’m Sober, Now What?”

By Kye Taylor, B.Sc.(Kin.)
Resident Kinesiologist
Sunshine Coast Health Center

For our clients in the beginning stages of addiction recovery, this is a common question that confronts them as they begin to paint a picture in their minds about what life will look like following addiction treatment.  For many, the prospect of living life without their substance can sound painfully bland by comparison. In fact, for many, the thought may stand in the way of a successful recovery.

In addiction, life get’s pretty one dimensional pretty quickly.  Day to day life becomes focused around using, and most everything else is secondary.  So, despite it being a destructive force, when this central component is removed, a major void is left.  Thus, a well-rounded recovery plan becomes vital to the success of those in recovery.

At Sunshine Coast Health Center, we understand that a recovery plan must be multi-faceted and encourage more than just merely abstinence from the drug of choice.  As part of their daily programming, clients are afforded the unique opportunity to take part in a fitness program that offers them the chance to rekindle their relationship with their bodies as well as take part in a variety of recreational activities that perhaps have been long absent from their lives.  Restoring an excitement about the many zests of life that can fulfill the mind, body, and soul, is an important component in our clients’ post-treatment success.

When working with those in recovery, it is important to provide an appealing alternative in comparison with their previous lives.  If the whole package looks like a less tempting alternative to what they had before, odds are that they will decline it.  It might be, for instance, that being sober, attending meetings, and having an improved relationship with friends and family is not an appealing enough alternative to entice them to break free from the stranglehold that their substance has upon them.  However, perhaps offering them the life of sobriety described above, as well as incorporating fulfilling recreation activities that promote health and vitality, might be an appealing enough alternative for them to give it a shot.

It’s important that this point is not misunderstood.  It’s not that a sober life with healthy and loving relationships is not enough.  It is, however, our stance that one of the great pleasures of life is shared recreational activities.  We try to instill this value within our clients by offering a wide variety of recreational experiences during their treatment.  Being located in Powell River, we are fortunate to have near limitless possibilities of outdoor recreation to choose from regardless of the time of year.  Some of our recreational activities include: kayaking, hiking, swimming, golfing, beachcombing, scuba diving, fishing, and many more.  If we don’t offer it as a facility sponsored activity, during non-program hours, clients who are designated senior peers are able to apply for day passes to accommodate activities of their choosing.  If approval is given from the clinical team, they are free to take part in the activity, responsible for any incurred cost.

Everyone needs something that feeds their soul and rejuvenates them when they become weary.  That being said, that “something” won’t be the same for everyone.  We encourage our clients to test the waters, both literally and figuratively, to see what works for them.  Whether it is with family or friends, a common passion a great way to network and broaden your social circle to include others that share your same interests. 

Our clients at Sunshine Coast have an un-rivaled opportunity to seek and explore what recreational activity enriches their life most.  They get to share these experiences with their “band of brothers” that they are a part of at our center, and narrow in on what it is that they want to include as part of the tapestry that will make up their aftercare plan, and the beginning of the rest of their life.

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Surprisingly enough, I’ve been having an absolute blast. I’ve been having a lot of fun and it’s nice to wake up in the morning with a clear mind and energy and just wanting to get out there and try new things. I’m enjoying getting out of bed. SCHC was very accommodating when it came to my passion (golf) and felt that it would be a huge part in my recovery. That was huge for me. It allowed me to want to try and now I’m excited for group and doing the hard work that I need to do in order to sober up.

- Mick

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