JOMO: How Missing Out Can Help You Recover
When you begin your recovery journey, you may feel a stir within, telling you that you'd better get to work building a new life. Productivity becomes your main focus. With that comes the endless to-do list with as many items completed as there are left unfinished. If this sounds like you, that's wonderful — but be careful. Doing as many things as possible isn't very sustainable.
You beat the odds by taking the bull by the horns and getting sober. That may have inspired you to get everything done, go to every social event, and take on as many responsibilities as possible now that you can. You may even feel that you must take on so much to make reparations for damage done during your time in active addiction. Now, not that all those things aren't good, but are you overburdening or overextending yourself? Have you given yourself the grace to say no?
Necessity vs. Obligation
Whether you are in a program or not, recovery takes maintenance, usually in the form of attending support groups, keeping a journal, self-care, and more. Nothing is wrong with that so long as there is balance. When you are newer to these experiences, you may find it challenging to find that balance. That need to do something can be for various reasons but typically stems from unresolved shame or guilt over previously neglected responsibilities.
As tempting as it is to say yes to everything and everyone, ask yourself whether you're agreeing to or taking on something because you want to or because you feel like you have to. Can you forgo something to create time to work on your recovery? Constantly putting yourself last out of fear of appearing selfish is something you can't afford. The discomfort you may experience when you bow out of an event or appointment won't last. The results of time spent managing your sobriety will.
Fun and All Your Friends
Maybe you have broken through the illusion that your ability to maintain productivity is how you measure your worth and no longer struggle to say no to the things that you don't have to do. However, you may fall victim to the idea that you must show up for your friends and family every time, without hesitation, lest you miss out on life itself.
The truth is, there is only one of you, and while it's fantastic that you feel up for social events, there is such thing as overstimulation. Much like tasking yourself to no end, over-engagement leaves little room for quiet moments to work on yourself. Life will not pass you by just because you have chosen to fall back for a bit and rest.
JOMO: The Joy Of Missing Out
JOMO is the opposite of FOMO, the acronym for “fear of missing out.” Though these words sound light-hearted, clinicians are actively studying the psychology behind FOMO as it has increased in popularity since its inception in 2004. FOMO has been used to describe the negative feelings associated with being unable to attend some social event people you know are at.
The irony in it all is that, in missing out, you can discover the joy of missing out. JOMO requires a level of courage and self-satisfaction on your part. Courage to not only let a moment go but to sit with yourself, sometimes in literal silence, to define what makes you feel alive. JOMO can be an exercise in boundary-holding or a means to reconnect with yourself, especially when life becomes more challenging to navigate.
How to Practice JOMO
There are several ways you can step into your JOMO without hesitation. A big part of living this is knowing yourself well. It is good practice to take inventory of your emotions and energy level at the beginning or end of each day to build your understanding of who you are. That way, you will quickly sense when you feel “off” and may need time to take it easy and "miss out."
When you've reached a point where you can embrace “missing out,” experiment with ways you can re-engage with yourself and your personal goals. For example:
Keep a journal and write in it as often as possible.
Go on a nature walk.
Take yourself on a date.
Read that book that has been calling out to you from the shelf.
Go for a drive.
Getting rid of FOMO isn't an easy task. To help get you there, ask yourself when social situations or heavy responsibilities come up if you truly want to go or if you just don't want to not be there. Will this outing be life-affirming and supportive of your journey or just a box to check? If you're still feeling that fear or anxiety over not going, try one of the above things to connect with yourself and understand your feelings. All in all, understanding that JOMO is a means of self-discipline, will bring you different opportunities to practice courage and substantial self-acceptance.
Experiencing Denial & Uncomfortable Moments Helps You Grow
When you permit yourself to experience uncomfortable moments, you actually allow yourself to step away from old beliefs of who you are and move closer to the person you have always been. The Edge Treatment Center provides the support needed to maintain your sobriety by establishing a comprehensive treatment plan that will help you be comfortable saying no when you're overburdened. We happily admit people with multiple months of recovery to our outpatient programs.
Community powerfully combats substance use disorders, and because of this, we also believe in maintaining contact with those who complete our program. If you need more support, we are here for you. Reach out at (800) 778-1772.