Rebuilding your life after addiction can be hard, especially if you have been abusing drugs and alcohol for years or even decades. Knowing where to start can be overwhelming because, on top of withdrawals, making amends with friends and family or re-entering the workforce can seem impossible.
However, there are ways to help you create a new sober life. Here are five steps you can take towards reclaiming your life.
1. Don’t Push Yourself
People who are recently clean often feel like they have a new lease on life. They feel healthier than they have in years. This is especially true if they have just gone through opioid detox.
But it is important to remember to not take on too much at one time. Like with any long term illness, it is important to not push yourself too hard too fast.
Practicing good self-care is essential during the first year or so. Getting enough sleep, eating right, going to meetings or therapy is important to ensure you don’t relapse.
2. Create a Support Network
It is important to surround yourself with people who not only want you to succeed when it comes to staying clean but who have also been there themselves. Many of your old friends may try to understand your desire to get clean but will still want you to go to bars and parties with them.
Finding a group of people who understand the struggles of a sober life can help hold you accountable and empathize when things get rough.
3. Find New Hobbies
Odds are more than likely most of your free time used to consist of drinking and getting high. So, you will need to fill that space in your life with something else now that you have a new life after drug addiction.
This could be a chance for you to look into something you are passionate about. Have you wanted to learn an instrument, paint, cook? Consider taking classes.
Another great way to fill the time is to take up a sport. Exercise releases endorphins which help you feel better. Plus, getting active can help with self-care, which we mentioned above.
4. Making Amends
Addicts don’t always make great life choices when it comes to how they treat friends and family. Maybe you stole from them or maybe your behavior was just so unreliable they lost the ability to trust you.
Start by asking what they need from you to help mend that relationship.
Once you have clear boundaries and guidelines on what you need to do, follow through with them. You are going to need to prove you are capable of allowing them time to heal and trust you again and that doesn’t happen overnight.
5. Forgive Yourself
This may be harder than you think. While you were drinking and doing drugs you may have done or said things you look back at and find unforgivable.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t apologize or make amends for your past actions, see above. However, what it does mean is you should acknowledge you are human, made a mistake, and try to do better from here on out.
Life After Addiction
Life after addiction can be hard, especially when you are newly sober. However, with hard work and dedication, you can create a new and better life without drugs and alcohol.
If you are passionate about living a life with meaning and purpose or simply want some ideas on self-care or self-improvement, check out the rest of our blog. It is never too late to live your best life.