Substance abuse is a serious disease that can destroy anyone’s life. It has the ability to alter your brain, change your behavior, affect your career, and even destroy your relationships with people who are most precious to you. Due to the amount of damage that addiction can cause in to someone’s life, it is not something that can be left behind that easily. Overcoming any form addiction does not happen overnight. Depending on the severity of the abuse, the whole process of treatment and recovery may take months, or even years to fulfill. Though that is the case, it is very important to know that no matter how deep into your addiction you may be in, living a life free from its side effects is highly possible. And there is light at the end of the tunnel for those who choose to break free from the chains of this terrible illness.
It’s true that the first step to recovery is admitting to yourself that you need help. Deciding then to act upon your addiction, religiously sticking to your chosen treatment plan and completing the entire program are the best steps in attaining a progressive addiction management that leads to long-term sobriety.
What happens next, though? Can you go back to having a normal life right away? Is relapse out of the picture now that you have completed treatment? Is rebirth through recovery really plausible? Well… the answer to these questions is UP TO YOU. Whether you go back to your old habits, or choose to lead a productive sober life, it really depends on how you deal with future temptations, cravings and strong persuasions.
Recovering from addiction is like pressing the ‘reset button’. It is recognizing that you went through a dark chapter in your life which you are now choosing to let go of. It is rebuilding everything that has been ruined and getting ready to start from scratch. It is like being reborn and being given a second chance to correct your past mistakes. It is a priceless gift!
Establishing a new life outside recovery may not be a walk in the park, but there are certain things that you can do to fully embrace the new beginning that you’re blessed with. Here are some tips:
- Be thankful for your second chance at life.
Rather than seeing this whole new life as a challenging time, consider it as a second chance. Whenever you feel overwhelmed or anxious, remind yourself that not everyone who goes through addiction is given an opportunity to start anew. By having a grateful mindset and by treating everything as a blessing, you will begin to appreciate life more and would want to make the most out of each day. Value the clean slate that you are provided with to create a healthier and better future for yourself.
- Time to repair broken relationships.
In most cases, substance abuse does not only destroy the life of the person using, it also takes a toll into relationships between families, friends and couples. It is now time to rebuild the broken bonds and regain the trust of the people that matters most to you. This can be a very difficult thing to do considering you’re trying to rebuild yourself, too. So take baby steps and give the people involved enough time to know the ‘new you’. Showing full accountability for your mistakes in the past and being more responsible of the new life that you have now are the best ways to gain their trust again and restore what has been lost.
- It’s okay to say NO.
In order to have a progressive substance abuse recovery and to avoid relapse, you must learn how and be comfortable to say no. Though people close to you may understand what you’re going through, there may be unavoidable instances when temptation will present itself again and again. When lured into using, remind yourself of the things that you learned during treatment, such as relapse prevention techniques or effective practices to not give in to your cravings. To be safer, steer clear from people who are most likely to convince you to fall back into addiction again.
- Be active.
Remember that thing that you’ve always wanted to do before your addiction took over your life? It may be a hobby or sport that you’ve been meaning to try, or a job that you wished to apply to before, or maybe a hidden talent that you’ve always wanted to develop. No matter what it is, now would be the best time to do it! Keeping yourself preoccupied and being productive can help take your mind off unpleasant thoughts and can produce a sense of fulfillment. Boredom can lead to relapse, so you may want to keep on moving.
- Stay in touch with your support group or treatment team.
Connecting with people who totally understand what you’re going through is one of the most helpful ways to maintain sobriety. These may be the people you met from drug rehab centers or the team who cared for you when you were in treatment. The point is you need to be able to share the challenges that you are facing while in recovery without being judged or feeling guilty. Surround yourself with the right people who understand your vulnerability and would make the journey much easier.
As recovery is unique for everyone, apply these tips but still keep your mind open for new strategies that work best for you. Take it one day at a time, don’t go looking for a ‘quick fix’, and don’t be too hard on yourself. Remember, recovery is a process and sobriety is a lifelong journey. With enough time and commitment to progress, you are becoming closer and closer to achieving successful recovery and rebirth.
Next Level Recovery will be your companion every step of the way. If you wish to achieve sobriety from alcohol or if you’re looking for an addictions treatment center in Utah, call (888) 759-5846 and we’ll figure out the best way to help with your specific situation.