Finding a hobby after quitting drugs?
I'm a 19 year old male who went away to college freshman year. Prior to going away, I found myself involved with alcohol and marijuana. I think I was led to this path after I tore my ACL playing baseball when I was 13. That ended my hobbies... sports. With no sports in my life I found myself getting a job at the age of 14 and I constantly held a job. However, work for most people, especially teens, is not fun. This is where I believe the alcohol and marijuana came in.
Come Fall semester last year, in addition to drinking and smoking weed, I found myself doing ecstasy, salvia, shrooms, percocet, ambien, adderall, xanax, and promethyzine. I only did all those a couple of times, except ecstasy. I fell in love with ecstasy and went on to do it 7 times in the span of 4 months.
During the 2nd semester, I was arrested for drug paraphernalia (smoking pipe). That gave me enough reason to stop smoking marijuana. 2 weeks later, I took some ecstasy and come towards the end of the night and my "roll," I thought I was going to die. This was enough to get me to quit all drugs. A week later after this incident I was rushed to the hospital for dehydration and that's when everything went downhill. After I was released from the hospital I felt horrible for the next week. I went to urgent healthcare on campus just about every day with the same symptoms of dehydration. It turns out, what I was experiencing was heavy anxiety and a little depression. After this week of hell, I knew it was time for me to head home and get my health back together.
I stopped all drugs including alcohol for 2 months. Then I found myself drinking again. Not as much as I used to, but I still went back to it. I stayed clean from all other drugs for another 2 months and then I found myself using marijuana again. I would smoke 5-6 times a day and pretty much was high all day. This lasted for 2 months, until this week.
During this week, my anxiety has gotten bad once again and now I just want my life to go back to normal. I no longer feel like I'm living a normal life. I go to work and come home now and repeat this every day. Drugs were my hobby and now my life has a huge gap in it without drugs.
How can I go about finding a hobby that I can enjoy and keep my mind of these drugs and hopefully get my life back together.
I would love to play sports, but at my age it's hard to play unless you play at a competitive level. Since I haven't played competitively in over 5 years, I most likely won't make any team especially since I never got surgery on my torn ACL. Art is out of the question, I absolutely suck at it and can't bare to watch myself attempt doing it haha. I love music. However, most of the music I listen to deals with drugs (whether it be hip hop or indie rock). I'm not good at any instrument and my singing isn't too pleasant.
There are many things I would love to get involved with, however those hobbies are very expensive. Some things I would love to get into, but cost way too much for someone my age who has to pay for school: jetskiing/boating, skydiving, and working on my car more.
I would love to try snowboarding as I tried it once when I was 8. However, I live in Long Island, NY and the closest ski place is like 2 hours away.
I would also love to work out more. But, every time I'm nearing the end of my workout, my anxiety decides to be a pain in the ***. I think this has to do with the fact that working out will make you sweat, increase in heart rate, weak.... which I experience all when I'm having a panic attack. Also the reason I was rushed to the hospital for dehydration was due to working out at the gym.
So now I'm open to any suggestions as a hobby for a 19 year old male. I know this was a long *** post/question but I appreciate anyone that took the time to read it all and contribute. You may be able to change a young mans life.
- Diane B.Lv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
First, as mentioned, congratulations on doing what you've done. It's most difficult now till you find your way "back" and but should get easier as you get older too (as for most people).
I have some suggestions about hobbies/etc, but I'd also strongly suggest that you see a therapist of some kind for your anxiety and sometime-panic --especially a "cognitive behavioral" therapist. There are lots of techniques (and sometimes meds) that have been discovered now that can deal very successfully with it.
If your job has health benefits you'll be able to get some mental health help paid for, and I'll bet that you can find some help even if you're not rich or don't have insurance through work (start calling your local mental health clinics, local "social services," and even drug rehab places to ask them where you can look for help...or call some of the national or local hotlines, etc, again just to ask where to start).
Just reading about anxiety disorders can help too:
You mentioned not being able to do some of the things you know you're interested in though, but you *can* still do many of them. For example:
...many-many guys do still play sports after school age even if they're not top competitors, or even into the competition...they'll just form loose teams (through work or friends or neighborhoods or churches, etc, or do pick up games for basketballs), or do some activities occasionally with friends, etc....there are also solo sports that can be done any time you want at any level you want (running, bike riding, golf, archery, etc, etc).
As for "art," there are a lot of kinds of art --not just drawing and painting! If you have an "esthetic" interest in things, there are loads of related things you could do as hobbies or just occasional activities... photography, video, web design, going to museums (or volunteering there), polymer clay, building miniatures of all kinds and/or scenes and dioramas, origami and kirigami, carpentry, metal work, wirework, etc., etc.).
Also, you might get a bit of attitude adjustment and good info from this particular page at my site, on "creativity and inspiration" as well as just "what is art anyway?":
(click especially on Creativity & Inspiration)
If you "love music," you should be able to love all kinds of music. It's just a matter of getting familiar with them. You could do things like listening to different radio stations, checking out music on YouTube you aren't familiar with, reading up on who's "good" and why, borrowing music from others to listen to, etc. If you're interested in playing an instrument, just buy or borrow an inexpensive version and learn to fiddle around with it a bit (again, there's a lot of free instruction at YouTube and online)...you don't have to "be good" at an instrument to enjoy interacting with it.
As for working on your car, I assume there are guys all around who like to do that, and you might want to help work on their cars or take a class at the local community college, etc. You can also just spend some time learning about working on cars on YouTube, etc., or get the info then start making a list of things you want to do when you have some money.
You might also want to take a class or two at a local community or state college, either to begin work on a degree or just to learn something you might be interested in (and meet other people, give yourself more structure, and in a place that's probably different from where you're working now).
You might check into "Meet-Ups" too (see one of my answers below for more info).
If you think widely enough, there are also lots of volunteer opportunities involving all those activities and hobbies, whether with kids or older people or your own age. A lot of times volunteering gives a great sense of connection, reward, community and more. You could also benefit a lot of younger kids with the things you already know about, good and bad.
Now, you might also want to read some of the ideas that I've put into other answers I've written at YA; the first link is also just about how to "figure out" what you might be interested in (there is overlap in some of them, but sometimes new info/ideas):
and various previous questions re "useful hobbies"
HTH, and keep up the good work...it WILL pay off!
Diane B.Source(s): http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
- 1 decade ago
Hey man, I totally understand what your going through. I will tell you this, get out of the drama in drugs while you are young. It will stick with you forever if you don't do something about it now. What helps is finding a good friend you could talk too, or develop a great relationship with your parents. I know its sounds corny, but your parents really could help out by you talking to them about anything and everything. There is a sense of security you get by having someone there telling you it is going to be alright. Next time you see a friend lighting up or doing drugs, look at him in his eye and think about exactly what he is doing to himself. All you have to do is look at them and you will see.
- Anonymous6 years ago
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- Anonymous1 decade ago
brother, i hear you. I was released from the military for a severe disability. It took what youth a had away from me. no more baseball for me either. I battle with the drugs and booze too. anything to fill my time and keep my mind of the crazy stuff. my best advice that i have to offer is..... fish. I started out with a small tank and worked my way up. it was a good recovery for me with the substance abuse because it allowed me to take care of something else. Something else depended on my sobriety. After a while you start to watch them grow and change and it gave me a little sense of pride. for me.... my 2 tiger oscars are my best support group, as lame as that sounds. good luck man, keep possitive.
- 6 years ago
you have a good command of English, what about writing? A book or a blog? And I have to agree some kind of exercise is mandatory for health and sanity. The YMCA has team sports for adults. How about swimming? no pressure on knee.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Strenuous, regular exercise still isn't pushed enough by our doctors and the government, but it's *essential* to our well being. The exact exercise you do isn't too important but it has to push you hard. 40 min of running followed by 15 min weight training is good, but what matters at first isn't intensity, it's continuity. 5 - 7 days a week for the rest of your life.
- Anonymous4 years ago
It's really good