Anyone who has made the decision to accept treatment can tell you it’s a difficult journey. Your addiction showed you, and the rest of the world, a side of yourself you never want to see again. Chances are you may have some regrets, you may have even burned some bridges before you got to this point – but you’ve got to this point! You made the decision to make changes. You refuse to be another statistic. You chose to take back control over your life.
The time you spent in rehabilitation was challenging, but what you choose to do after is what is really going to count the most. You have the rare opportunity at a second chance. You get to start over… to reinvent yourself.
Here are a few friendly tips to remember when it comes to reinventing yourself after addiction:
You’ve probably heard this word a thousand times by now – and for good reason. Acceptance is where all progress starts. You can’t know where you’re going until you know exactly where you are standing. You had to first accept your addiction before you could accept that it needed to be dealt with. Acceptance continues-on post-treatment for a reason. It is that subtle reminder that everyday is a new challenge for you to conquer. Embrace that challenge.
Build and Rebuild Relationships
By now , you should have already cut-out any negative relationships from your past. Keep it that way. You don’t need to surround yourself with temptation and enablers. Surround yourself with people who support and encourage your decision to get sober. Work on healing any damage you may have done in the past, and seek out new, like-minded people who bring positivity to your life. Often times, the friends you meet in treatment, or in group meetings, can be the best friends you ever have. This is where you create your support system, so make sure you put in to it everything you’ll need back.
Don’t Get Complacent
You’ve made it this far, but if you’ve learned anything, it’s that the journey is never over. Recovery doesn’t end when you leave rehab – that’s when the real challenge begins. Most people who relapse do so because they got complacent. If seeing a counselor is what helped you the most, then continue seeing a counselor. If attending Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings is what did it, then keep going to those meetings. Another piece of advice is to have a sponsor. Someone who can be there to keep you grounded. You’d be surprised what a little accountability can do.
Find Purpose / Give Back
Give your life new meaning by redefining your purpose. Take new classes, discover new hobbies, have fun and challenge yourself. You’d be surprised at how something as simple as starting a new exercise routine can profoundly change your mood and improve the way you feel, both physically and mentally. Strongly consider giving back to the community. Many people who are recovering from addiction find great joy in being able to help others.
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