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Recovering from a substance abuse addiction is never easy, even when you have intentions of getting healthy and moving forward. There may always be temptations, bad memories, stress and anxiety that trigger the desire to be numb. You may feel unable to disconnect some relationships, even if they’re ultimately bad for you.
Rebuilding a life after addiction isn’t easy. Addressing the physical and psychological issues that caused your substance abuse in the first place is an around-the-clock battle in many cases. Combined with the pressure of providing for your needs and those of your family, it can feel like too much to bear. To minimize stress and frustration that could threaten your sobriety, you must be patient, both with the process and with yourself. There are a lot of factors to think about when you’re living a sober life, and no instruction manual to help you through it.
The thing to remember is that everyone’s sober path is different. What works for one person may not work for you, and that’s OK. The key is to find your own happiness and figure out what will allow you to be the best version of yourself.
Here are a few tips on how to do just that.
Find sustainable employment
One of the most difficult parts of being in recovery is finding employment. There are many reasons for this and, in some cases, it’s because the individual in recovery is living in a new town, with no connections. Others have a criminal record, which can affect their ability to apply for certain types of jobs. The key here is to use what you have. Even if you’re in a new place and don’t know many people, you can talk to your sponsor, a counselor, or a recovery house manager and see what kinds of connections they may have. Even if it’s not your dream job, it could lead to something bigger and better very soon.
For more information on how to find a job in recovery, read this helpful guide.
Do something good
Spending time in recovery often allows an individual who has battled drugs or alcohol to reflect on the past and think about the mistakes they don’t want to repeat. It can also tap into a desire to help others, or to become a part of something bigger. Helping out in your community as a volunteer at an animal hospital, a local shelter, or the library can boost your self-confidence and lend something joyful and meaningful to your new sober life.
Your body and mind can suffer greatly during a period of addiction, so it’s important to take care of yourself. One complaint many people in recovery have is that they traded substances for junk food, nicotine, or sugar, so a good place to start is watching what you eat. Make a transition to healthier foods, drink lots of water, and get plenty of good sleep. Feeling better physically can help your mental state, as well.
Create a schedule
One of the best ways to get your life back on track is to create a schedule you know you can stick to. Get into a routine of healthy habits that will be hard to break and get organized at home. This will help keep stress and anxiety at bay, which are two key components when it comes to relapses.
Remember that your recovery is up to you. It’s important to keep yourself accountable when it comes to moving forward, and the best way to do this is to stay in contact with your counselor, sponsor or therapist and be honest about how you’re feeling.
Adam Cooke firstname.lastname@example.org