Ten Boring Years in Paradise – Looking Forward by Looking Back
A person in recovery for 10 years recounts what his journey has been like. He explains what sobriety feels like now, and how he wouldn't change a thing.
After facing your addictions head on and undergoing a treatment program, you are likely to experience a sense of relief, pride and excitement for the future ahead. You may feel that the hard part is over, but it is important to understand that treatment is just the beginning of a lifelong journey — one that if given the proper care will be infinitely rewarding.
Research suggests that 40-60% of recovering addicts relapse within the first six months after treatment.
This statistic showcases the importance of developing a routine that is congruent with your journey to stay healthy and sober. Relapsing is incredibly dangerous and can not only derail your will to stay drug and alcohol free, but can also lead to blackouts, bodily injuries, overdoses or even death.
Here are 5 ways to successfully take control of your future and establish a new “normal” way of life after rehab:
Use the resources allotted during your treatment program, such as therapists, doctors or focus groups, to develop concrete ways you intend to change your life after rehab. Making a point to plan for the future while still in rehab is imperative to maintaining a clear mindset and will help you avoid any potential relapses. This may involve identifying common triggers or warning signs and coming up with a plan to prevent these, making plans to move out of a home or location that is a negative influence, or cutting ties with damaging or dangerous individuals from your past.
Going through a treatment program will require self-reflection and it is important to continue this form of introspection in order to stay focused and sober. Try meditating once a day, listening to soothing music or spending time outdoors — whatever it takes to clear your mind and form a connection with your surroundings.
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Finding ways to cope without drugs or alcohol can prove difficult at times, which is why picking up a new hobby to fill the void that was once filled with dangerous behavior is incredibly important to a successful recovery. Startbuilding a new social lifeby taking an art class, taking up a sport, writing in a daily journal, joining a club or volunteering in your community. These are all great ways to meet new people while developing healthy habits and routines.
This step requires evaluating the house or neighborhood you were previously residing in and critically assessing if it is still a good, safe fit for a sober you. Additionally, you should perform the same evaluation of your friends or family members who may be facing addictions themselves or were enablers of your previous addiction(s).
Support groups such as 12 Step Programs, Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and SMART are incredible resources when considering how to successfully establish a new way of life and maintain your sobriety. Making meetings a priority will allow you to surround yourself with individuals who have overcome similar situations, and who can be great influences on your continued journey to regain control of your life.
Establishing a new “normal” way of life can seem daunting at first, but it is important to stay positive and take it one step at a time. This is the best way to ensure a full transformation and start building a happy, healthy and fulfilling life.
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