The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Life After Addiction Treatment
Image via Pixabay by stux
Leaving addiction treatment and rejoining the rest of the world is no small feat. While it would be nice to have an official guide on exactly how it’s done, there’s no perfect formula. Take it day by day and keep these tips in mind to start a clean, full life following treatment:
Recovery trumps all. Just about anyone experienced with addiction recovery will tell you that the first rule is to put your sobriety above all else. It comes before friends, family, even before your job. A single slip could compromise all of your hard work and ultimately lead to another spin out of control. Sobriety comes first.
Seek specialized treatment. Often, people in addiction recovery have a co-morbid condition, such as an eating disorder or anxiety disorder, that necessitates a more intensive treatment. Similarly, LGBTQ people experience unique challenges that may require a different treatment approach. Be cognizant of the specialized treatment you need and be sure to seek out ongoing help that can address your specific situation.
Get up and exercise. Even a couple days a week at the gym or a short jog can make all the difference. If you like spending time in the pool, aquatic therapy is especially good for recovering addicts. You’ll get many of the benefits you get from other forms of exercise—e.g. an improved mood and improved sleep—while also being able to take advantage of the relaxation effect that comes from being in the water. It’s also great for those who are suffering from chronic pain. Exercise isn’t just important for maintaining (and rebuilding) your physical health, it’s an awesome way to burn off stress from daily frustrations.
Discover and explore new hobbies. It’s important to keep yourself busy while in recovery and a hobby is one of the best ways. Whether you take up a new sport or take a class (or two, or three) at a community college, find a way to spark your passion into something new.
Become grateful. When your mind wanders at night, direct it to the things in the world that make you smile. Focus on the things in your life that keep you healthy and make you happy. Think about the new life you plan to build and the countless rewards sobriety will bring.
Stay positive when returning to work. If you are searching for new work, stay positive and never assume that your addiction past has any effect on your chances of being hired. If returning to an old workplace and you’re worried about office gossip, focus on excelling at your job and let your work speak for itself. You could even start an independent venture like freelance photography or working as a pet sitter. What matters most is that you look for work you find rewarding and worthwhile.
Once you’ve got the job, reduce your work stress. Organize your responsibilities with a calendar planner and delegate as necessary. Don’t put things off, but know which tasks are priorities and which can wait. Focus on getting one thing done at a time, and before you realize it, you’ll be in your own flow.
Whatever route you take on the road to recovery, make sure you have a solid support system behind you. Keep these tips in mind and look ahead to your new future.
About the Author
Jackie Cortez works with the team at The Prevention Coalition to identify authoritative resources on every aspect of substance abuse, ranging from prevention to addiction treatment. In her spare time, Jackie enjoys gardening, reading and walks with her favorite 4-legged pal, Buster the labrador.