Addiction always runs the show. It takes up space in an individual’s life until their vitality has all but vanished and inevitably takes a toll on the lives of those that are involved with the addict. Addiction spreads out wider and wider, wherever there is a vacuum to fill.

The recovery process requires in-depth work with tools such as therapy, 12-step programs or support groups. In this phase, the recovering individual is able to shed their old skin and create a new life. As crucial as it is to go through this process thoroughly, it is also indispensable to develop a vision to point one’s compass. In parallel to recovery, another process has to begin: the process of discovery.

As the addiction is being weeded out, it leaves a new vacuum. It is laborious for a recovering addict to resist the call of addiction if that vacuum persists. Voltaire said, “Let us cultivate our garden.” During the process of recovery, the garden is made ready for new plants. There starts a fresh phase of exploration and selection. Where and when should the new seeds be planted? What flowers? This novelty and a new freedom may often be daunting, and is threatening to those whose lives had revolved around the addiction.

The discovery process at first may appear less demanding. It requires a great deal of support and dedication—friends, a coach or a group of people, that share common interests and help create structure and accountability to fill the vacuum. This requires the individual to step into uncharted territory and out of their comfort zone. Joining a gym, making new friends or starting different activities have their own challenges.

Nurturing practices are the seeds to a new life. During this phase, the new habits and behaviors take root, the person gains self-esteem, adopts positive thoughts and feels their energy level increase. There is joy in the process of discovery, for it is here the blooming is found.

Florence Doisneau is a certified life coach providing tools and practices to realize a meaningful, joyful and authentic life. She holds a master’s degree in management and bodywork therapies; is in training as a NLP practitioner; and is a 200-hour certified yoga teacher. Contact her at Florence@ or

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