If you’re recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction, most days, life probably feels like an uphill battle. But there are things you can do to cope and even thrive in your new life. The best way to get started is to address every aspect of your life in some way and determine the changes that will need to be made.
Perhaps the first area of your life that you need to address is your health. According to MedlinePlus, substance abuse harms the body in two ways:
Because of the negative impact substance abuse had on your body, it’s important to improve your health so that you can function and feel your best. You can do this by eating regular, nutritious meals, exercising, and taking vitamin supplements. Some people even find it helpful to seek out the help of a dietitian or nutritionist during recovery.
According to Recovery.org, “Addiction dramatically changes the way we see ourselves, others and the world.” This means that you will now have to learn to cope with life from a different perspective, so it is vitally important to address any stressors that might be affecting your thought patterns. While there are various methods you should use to do this, owning a service dog is becoming an increasingly popular one. Animals provide a calm and stable connection that has been shown to reduce depression and anxiety.
It’s also extremely important that you seek the help of a good treatment program and/or mental health professional. Coping with life after addiction shouldn’t be attempted alone. Many people have been where you are now and can help you come to terms with the emotions and struggles you are facing today.
After a bout with substance abuse, it’s possible your finances took a major hit. Recovery is a time for healing all areas of your life, including getting your finances back on track and possibly reentering the workforce. A lot of people find it helpful to start their own businesses, both to pad their bank accounts and to keep themselves occupied. To get started, you might consider offering services such as pet sitting. And since animals are known to help with depression and anxiety, this type of business is a perfect transition back into the working world.
Aside from self-employment, there are other ways to ease back into the workforce, and there are several programs to help. The ADA even protects recovering addicts from discrimination, so there’s no need to avoid job interviews, or fear probing questions when looking for employment. If you’re nervous about applying for a new position, get online and do your research. There are online resources dispelling everything from what to expec during an interview to crafting a winning resume to understanding your prospective company’s culture. Not only will you be more confident, you’ll increase your odds of snagging whichever position you’re going for.
As a recovering addict, you probably damaged many of your closest relationships and feel the need to fix them right away. But according to Psychology Today, focusing on these relationships instead of recovery is not necessarily the best thing for you. While some of your relationships will need to be mended, it is usually best to include these people in your recovery and ask only for their support until you’re strong enough to deal with the stress of rehashing old emotions and issues. It’s almost never recommended that you do this alone. A good addiction counselor will be able to help you understand how to approach each situation.
The most important thing to remember when recovering from an addiction is that you never have to be alone. Seek the help of a knowledgeable therapist or group program to help you stay on track. Find ways to make simple, sustainable changes in your everyday life. Setting goals and working on yourself will give you the best chance of living a life you can be proud of.
For additional information regarding addiction recovery, visit www.recoveryhope.org