How to Start Building a New Life After Addiction
by Shane Campaña
You or your loved one may be suffering from addiction and have been making an effort to be sober. We understand that getting sober can be quite daunting and you may feel like it is an impossible thing to do after drinking and/or using for years. Or you may think there is no life after this.
Maybe in between all the hard times, you have thought, "Will I ever get better?" or "What if I quit today and start my recovery?" This is a sign that deep inside, you want to change your life. Despite everything good that comes with getting sober, it is not an easy thing to do. Reconstructing your life and learning how to maneuver it again can be scarier for some. The heart to change for the better, long-term goals, and commitment are essential for recovery.
Choosing recovery means havingn to work for it every day, little by little, every step of the way. It is challenging but it will turn your life for the better. Imagine finding yourself again and being able to be who you truly are, it is the best experience on Earth. Here in Caledonia, we will help you learn to live your life again. We will guide you through everything - recovery, eating, sleeping, work/studying, socializing, applying everything you've learned from the meetings and therapies. Here are some tips you can take to build your life after addiction.
1. Find professional help
Addiction is an isolating experience but you don't have to be alone in recovery too. The chances of solid and uninterrupted recovery are higher when a professional and a sober network helps you along the way. An addiction treatment program is important in this stage. It provides you with a safe and drug and alcohol-free space, wherein the center of your attention is your recovery. While you are in the treatment center, healthcare professionals will help you give you enough coping tools to alleviate thte challenges that come with recovery. In here, you will meet a lot of people who will and can understand what you are going through. Moral support is necessary at the start of your sober journey.
2. Seek purpose in recovery
After addiction, you have to somehow restore the balance in your life and that will happen when you find your purpose. Maybe you will think, "What am I really doing here? Why am I here?" Participating and using the coping tools in treatment can help you with discovering your new purpose. We highly suggest that you open yourself to any opportunities that come your way. It may be volunteering, takingn a new job, or participating in activities that would help those who are in need too. Fully utilize your new life and give back to those who suffered in the same situation as you.
3. Set expectations and goals
Your stay in the recovery center is the best time to set new goals and expectations for yourself. Learning how to create manageable expectations for yourself is crucial at the early stage of recovery. Avoid pressuring yourself in building unrealistic goals and expectations because it will only bring unnecessary stress to your life. When you don't know where to start, you can ask for opinions from trusted people in your life. Start with "What do you expect from me?" "How do you think I can fully improve my life?" After getting answers, you set yourself towards achieving it.
4. Rebuild Relationships
When suffering from addiction, the relationships you have with your loved ones suffer too. It may have caused them to lose their trust in you. You may have hurt your close friends, parents, or a significant other- and during recovery, it is your time to mend these broken relationships. Show them that you can be trusted again and spend time with them when you can. And most importantly, fix the relationship you have with yourself. Being in peace with yourself is a basis of a solid foundation of your recovery.
5. Find your tribe
A sober network is an important element in your recovery journey. The people you meet in treatment, 12-step meetings, or other support meetings will most likely become your new tribe. Your relationships with these people will be different and you will find yourself opening up unsaid thoughts to them because they've been through the same things as you. These people will help you through temptations, bad days, and self doubts. They would also kickstart your way back to socializing, building a healthier lifestyle, seeking new opportunities, and many more. Having a network of sober people will make you realize that there is a better life after addiction. These are the kind of people you would want to keep in your life.
6. Find the new hobbies and activities
Addiction can take up too much space in your life. You might have forgotten to do activities that are healthy for you and all your hobbies revolved around drinking and/or using. During recovery, you must avoidt these bad habits and replace them with healthier ones. Outdoor activity is a good start in building a healthy lifestyle, getting sober, bodybuilding, and even making friends. These are more activities like cooking, writing, volunteering, or music. In Caledonia, we will encourage you to engage in team events that occur outdoors such as golf, skiing, bowling, etc. Engaging yourself with sober activities will lessen the chances of falling back to addiction.
7. Get a job or continue education
Now that you have built the first part of your new life, We move to the part where you invest in yourself for the long term. Looking for a job or continuing education is a big challenge. Caledonia Recovery Homes will advise you at this juncture. Although you have to keep an open mind because you may experience setbacks and challenges in hunting for a job. Before working or studying again, you need to keep in mind that you still have to prioritize your recovery. We highly suggest that you consider not committing big right away. Take a part-time or just a few units in school to avoid sudden stress that could possibly drive you back to addiction. The main goal is to maintain your recovery in order to perform well in your new job or school.
8. Begin a healthy lifestyle
When a person who suffered from addiction first comes sto treatment, most of
time they are in a bad shape. It is because alcohol and/or drugs have multiple bad effects on our bodies. You need to work on your overall health while on treatment and even after. Your early recovery should be accompanied by healthy eating habits, proper sleeping patterns, regular exercise, and brain exercises. Finding a way back to spirituality works for some people too. The more you focus on trying to make yourself better, the more you will reduce the chance of falling back to the old habit.
9. Continue the progress
Addiction reccovery is not only during the treatment or embarking on sober houses. While in recovery, your true self starts to be in control again. It is as if you start living again and this time, on your own terms. Your recovery does not end when you finish the treatment program, you may continue in a sober living house (highlight, link to admissions). Moving into a sober house will help you transition back to normal life again. In Caledonia, we offer various activities that will keep you addiction-free and healthy.
Addiction recovery is easier when a professional guides you to the right path. In Caledonia, we will make sure that you get ample groundwork and preparation to transition back to normal life without the high risk of falling back to addiction again. When you to develop different coping mechanisms in situations that trigger you to relapse. We aim to lead you to a path of independence and sober living.