Life After Addiction
Getting sober and staying in a rehab is a hard enough process on its own but staying sober and making a fresh start after rehab is perhaps even more difficult. Many people achieve sobriety through inpatient rehab centers, and this is because it’s easier to focus on the path to recovery in a place that is comfortable and removed from life’s stressors and triggers.
For those that are trying to reintegrate themselves into everyday life after recovery, it can be a truly terrifying process. Luckily, there are certain steps to take to ensure that this goes as smoothly as possible.
Tips for Rebuilding Your Life After Addiction:
Slow and steady wins the race
It’s important to realize that reintegrating into everyday life isn’t an immediate thing. Too many recovering addicts think that they can walk back out into the world and resume regular life with no problems at all. More often than not this leads to relapse. It’s only natural to feel healthy, reinvigorated, and on top of the world once you get clean, but it’s important not to take on too much at once.
It’s essential that you reset your pace, take the time to readjust, and not rush headfirst into anything. Remember that slow and steady wins the race, and this means taking a step back and exploring the world in relation to your newfound sobriety at a more manageable pace.
Put things right
Chances are that you did things to loved ones — or didn’t do things that you should have — while you were under the influence of drugs and alcohol. These actions probably hurt and pushed people away.
The process of grief doesn’t have to be compounded by loneliness and you don’t have to go through it alone.
If you’re struggling with grief in sobriety, don’t wait to get help. Reach out to Addiction Rehab Treatment to connect with compassionate medical professionals that will support you in your time of need.
Find out what expectations surround you
Relationships with family and friends are essential and they form a core part of your support structure. It’s important that after you have made amends with the loved ones that you hurt, that you have a conversation about expectations. This is a healthy conversation for you and for them, and will put everything out on the table.
For example, if you became an addict during your teenage years, but you’re now sober in your late 20’s — things are going to be very different. Your role in your family and friendships will have evolved since you were last a sober, fully functioning person, and this conversation can help to establish expectations around the new role that you will play in your sobriety.
Most people would have gotten used to seeing you as an addict, and this is a way for both of you to establish boundaries. Talking about it will help them draw a healthy conclusion regarding your new lifestyle, and they won’t expect too much or too little from you – and vice versa.
Keep your promises
When you’ve taken the time to make amends and discuss the expectations that your friends and family have of you, it’s time to follow through on your promises. Chances are that, as an addict, you weren’t known for your reliability, and this is the perfect time for you to change people’s perceptions of you. This comes down to handling your obligations.
Words don’t mean a thing if meaningful actions don’t follow them, and this gives you the opportunity to really solidify your relationships with loved ones. Keep the promises that you make, follow through on what you said you’d do now and in the long term. This won’t just go a long way in mending relationships but will also have the added advantage of helping you feel better about yourself too.
Create a sober friendship network
There’s not a lot that is as much of a threat to your newfound sobriety as hanging out with old friends that still dabble in drinks or drugs. Even if these old friends support you, if they are still addicts, they are in the exact same place where you left them. They are headed in the complete opposite direction to where you want to go. You are more likely to relapse with people from your past who are still using than you are with anyone else.
Your future health, sobriety, and happiness are more important than sentimentality. Now is the time to branch out and create a network of sober friends that can support you through the rough times and celebrate with you on the other side.
Find a new hobby or purpose
Life as an addict normally revolves around trying to get your next fix or enjoying a high. When you come out of rehab, it can be hard to find something to fill all the time that you never used to have before.
Addiction has probably left a bit of a vacuum in your life, and this is the perfect time to find something positive and meaningful to fill it up. Find a new hobby, volunteer at an animal shelter, study or do a course that will help you in your career. Do something that brings you joy and leads you further along the path that you want to follow in the future.
Lead a healthy lifestyle
Chances are that your lifestyle wasn’t the healthiest while you were using, and a regular exercise routine will make a massive difference in your new life. It will improve your energy levels, your sense of well-being and give you more self-confidence.
Try and find an exercise that you enjoy. Team sports like soccer are a fantastic way to meet people who are invested in a healthier lifestyle, or you could just take up jogging, walking, or cycling in nature.
Healthy eating is also essential. Try to cut out as much junk food and sugar as you can. Eat lots of fruit, vegetables, and proteins. Remember to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water and try not to have too much coffee. A healthy diet, over time, will also increase your energy levels, immune system, appearance, and your feeling of well-being.
Get plenty of rest
Addicts tend to have an unhealthy sleep schedule, whether that is too much or too little sleep. Get yourself into the habit of going to bed early and rising early every day. Try to get at least eight hours of good quality sleep every night, and you’ll be surprised at the difference that it can make. Getting enough rest will help your mood, concentration levels, alertness, immune system, and much more.
Set and pursue goals
An important part of staying sober is setting goals that you can achieve. This gives you something to focus on and work towards. In fact, this normally has a domino effect. In working towards your goals, you’re more likely to tackle the other tips that we’ve mentioned above.
Don’t neglect your support groups
If you adjust well to life outside of rehab and feel strong in your sobriety, it can be tempting to put off or skip support group meetings. However, this can be very dangerous. You never know when temptation is just around the corner.
At Addiction Rehab Treatment, nothing pleases us more than seeing our patients living happy and healthy lives on their inpatient treatment. If you are still struggling with addiction, get in touch with our team, and we’ll help guide you to a specialized treatment plan to get your life back on track.