The Importance of Happiness

Table of Contents

Happiness is a word that means different things to different people. Happiness as an idea sounds outright hokey to a lot of people — particularly with alcoholics and addicts, many of whom have suffered in ways that are far from trivial. For most of us who suffer from the disease, our best memories of happiness are from before we ever took a drink or a drug. After the way things have gone since, the things we’ve done, and what has happened to us, happiness may not seem like it’s in the cards for us. It certainly isn’t a priority.

Boy, do I have good news for you! Happiness in large enough amounts to produce real and enduring joy is practically the whole point of recovery at Jaywalker Lodge — well, that and being of service to others and having a meaningful relationship with your higher power. But happiness is certainly one of the biggest parts of recovery. Getting sober and engaging in our recovery isn’t about paying the price for our past in active addiction or alcoholism. The disease itself is punishment enough. If a life in recovery wasn’t absolutely full of happiness, we wouldn’t have much reason to stick around. Yet so many of us here at Jaywalker Lodge do, because we have discovered this design for living that really works. A life in recovery can be unbelievably packed with meaning, joy, growth, learning, and happiness.

Everyone Deserves Happiness

When we’re new to recovery, we usually have a hard time believing that. First off, we haven’t ever really seen it in real life. Secondly, we don’t often think people like us deserve it. More good news — you deserve to be happy! You deserve to be so happy that you have joy in your life. You deserve to be so happy that you help make all the people around you happy. You deserve to be so happy that sometimes you can’t even believe how happy you are.

If it sounds too good to be true, try it out. Willingly work your way through an honest, open-minded, and thorough 12-Step program at Jaywalker Lodge, and then keep active at it for a year. If you’re not happier than you’ve ever been, we will refund you your misery. Happiness isn’t something only reserved for people who’ve never been hurt or made mistakes — it’s for everybody, all the time. Of course, happiness is like any other emotion. It can come and go sometimes. Things may happen in life that we just can’t be happy through. Happiness doesn’t mean that tragedy will never strike. It doesn’t mean that we’ll get everything we want and our favorite sports team will never lose. It simply means we will finally learn how to be able to be happy.

Learning How to Be Happy

One of the single greatest benefits of living a recovery-centered lifestyle is that we learn how to be happy. Then we learn how to be happy often enough to produce real joy inside us and in our lives. Joy is the kind of happiness that doesn’t fade, as long as we keep in fit spiritual condition. When we have joy, the tragedies of life can strike and we can feel unhappy, but we also remain grateful and joyful beneath that unhappiness. Staying engaged in the 12-Steps helps us learn and experience enough about happiness to remain joyful.

Maybe this still sounds too good to be true, but maybe you need to change the way you look at yourself and what you deserve. The 12-Steps can help with that. Lots of people confuse happiness with being a by-product of everything going their way or always getting what they want. Sometimes it comes from things like that, but more often it’s a feeling brought on by having gratitude for our lives and behaving in ways that make us feel good about who we are. Again, the 12-Steps teach us how to do both of these. 

Allowing Ourselves to Be Happy

We have to allow ourselves to be happy and realize that it’s okay for us to be happy. Here’s why — the happier we are, the better we make the world for everyone around us. Truly, small kindnesses and happy people make the world a better place, every day, every single little time. Our alcoholism and our addiction were all about us — our fears, our needs, our relief, our pain, and our disease. Now, in recovery, life becomes about new things. Life in recovery is about our own healing and helping others heal as well. Life is about facing our fears and helping others do the same. Life in recovery is very much about our happiness and helping other people to become happy, too. By working the 12-Steps, we become fitted to be of maximum service to our higher power and our fellow human beings. That is a way of life that fills our days with the kind of happiness that makes lasting joy possible not just for us, but for everyone around us.

Most alcoholics and addicts suffer from more than just the disease of alcoholism or addiction. They experience mental and emotional health issues, low self-esteem, and loss of hope. A life in recovery can bring hope back to life, make us healthy again, and lead us into living lives that are filled with happiness and joy. Most alcoholics and addicts cannot achieve lasting recovery on their own. If you have tried to recover and earnestly want to, but you are unable to do it alone, you don’t have to be alone anymore. Jaywalker Lodge is here for you. We specialize in helping those who have slipped before and are ready to finally achieve long-term recovery.

Call us today at (866) 529-9255.

author avatar
Stefan Bate, MA, LAC, CCTP Chief Clinical Officer
Stefan Bate, BA, MA, LAC holds a Master's Degree in Applied Psychology from Regis University and is a Licensed Addiction Counselor in the state of Colorado. Stefan has wide-ranging experience in the field of addiction recovery including: working as a recovery coach, therapist, and program director.

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