Rebuilding Your Life After Addiction

Rebuilding Your Life After Addiction: 10 Tips for a New Start

Suddenly entering a drug and alcohol recovery program and becoming sober is difficult enough, but rebuilding your life after addiction can only complicate things more. Initially, you’ll have to conquer withdrawal symptoms and cravings to use again. Returning to the real world and continuing a sober lifestyle after spending years of substance abuse addict can be like coming out of a cave. 

The transitional process will require several changes, steps, and resolutions that must be strictly followed to be successful. This is crucial if you’re working on your recovery or recently become sober and want to continue that path after rehab

After spending an amount of time in treatment, the transition process of rebuilding your life after addiction can be challenging and will require several steps. Here are ten tips to rebuilding your life after addiction.

Step 1: Slow and Steady Wins The Race

Often, those who are recently rebuilding their life after addiction believe they’re suddenly ready to jump back right into the world. But they’ll usually realize quickly they’re very far from being 100% ready. You’ll feel reinvigorated and recharged and living life to its fullest, but you should moderate. Lifes pace will likely feel quite differently now, and it might take time to reacclimate. But remember, regarding substance addiction recovery, slow and steady wins the race!

Step 2: Make Things Right 

Chance are, in the substance-abusing days, you did bad things or failed during that previous lifestyle. Even though these things happened during the addiction era, these actions had still caused people to become upset or have animosity. However, most loved ones will be happy to have you back healthy and sober and begin to realize the influence of old wounds can heal as time goes on. It is crucial to quickly and efficiently find ways to repair any damage you previously caused and make sure you make things right.

Step 3: Do What’s Expected of You

Another step to take when mending relationships with friends and family and to find out what they expect and need from you and their expectations of your behavior when dealing with them. For example, if you began using drugs and alcohol as a teen, and now you’re in your late 20’s, the early ’30s, life has changed. You may only remember things back when you were sober and a functioning family member, but those roles and expectations in those relationships have also changed. 

This discussion isn’t only for your sake, but for the sake of your loved ones too. They’ve gotten used to viewing you as a substance abuser and will continue to think of you that way unless you can show them differently. They may even expect too much now that you are back to being sober. Follow the rules and do what’s expected of you to help make loved ones view the present and form more practical standards moving forward.

10 Tips for a New Start

Step 4- Follow Through

Life after rehab will be tough enough adjusting to life and finding time to discuss in detail what is expected of you. But now that friends and family have given you the ground rules, moving forward, now you’ll have to follow through on it. You beat substance abuse and addiction, and now the time has come to change other habits correlating to how you relate to others, things you do for them, handling obligations, and more. 

People you speak with may be duly impressed by the interest you display in what they believed and required to consider their expectations. But what will impress them and help form a solid relationship is by following through on your commitments, now and long term.

Step 5: Leave Old Friends Behind

After leaving rehab, it is crucial to cut ties with all previous substance abusing and addicted friends from the past. Regardless of the support, they claim they’ll give you during your path to sobriety, the fact is their presence will only stall your progress. Even in situations where it’s a good friend or even a family member, they will bring you down and possibly trigger you to use again. 

During individual psychotherapy sessions, you’ll learn that even friends and family members who are happy that you’ve become sober still may not fully support your new lifestyle. But dont take that personally. They’re just afraid you’ll push your get clean ways and lifestyle onto them. They realize your lives are going in entirely different directions with them on the opposing end of the spectrum. 

Even if that’s not the case and you still fully support each other, hanging with others getting drunk or high will only tempt you. Being around them can at any moment trigger a relapse, so stay away or keep it at busy, formal meeting places. No amount of sentiment is worth your health, happiness, and especially your sobriety! Leave old friends behind.

Step 6: Finding New Hobbies

Back in the substance-abusing days, everyday life probably revolved around seeking and consuming drugs or alcohol. And the moments you weren’t occupied with using substance were perhaps overshadowed by thoughts of when and how you were going to schedule using again. So, now that you’re clean, what will you do with your free time now? 

Substance addiction has left a giant hole in your life, and now is the time for you to fill that hole with something productive, engaging, and fun. Finding new hobbies is easy; try by volunteering, pursuing further education, or other positive and fulfilling hobbies to keep new life on the right path.

Step 7: Start Exercising

Think back to the days of drinking and abusing substances. How often did you work out during that period? Although now you’re clean and sober, are you in good health? Those who start exercising can feel a world of difference regarding improving overall brain health, boosting energy levels, feeling of self-confidence, and sense of well-being. 

Whether it’s hiking, swimming, yoga, cycling, pilates, joining a gym, or a team sport, exercise can take things to a whole other level. Another reason to start exercising is to meet others dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle, which will help support your newly found healthy habits.

Step 8: Start Dieting

Like most people who’ve spent years abusing substances, you likely didn’t have the best diet throughout that period. Your body’s condition is influenced by what you eat, and it may now be showing signs of malnutrition caused by long term neglect. It is crucial to minimize fats, cut junk food out from your diet, cut out sugar and unhealthy food and eat fresh fruit, veggies, fish, and lean meats daily. Also, drink lots of water and cut back on coffee or energy drinks. 

A comprehensive health change won’t happen overnight, but over time, your tastes will change, and you’ll start craving healthy food. Next, you’ll begin to see extraordinary changes in appearance, immunity, energy level, and overall health. But it only happens when you start dieting.

rebuilding your life after addiction

Step 9: Get Plenty of Rest

Whatever your sleep schedule was in the substance-abusing era, it probably wasn’t very conducive to providing good mental and physical health. Staying up all night and sleeping all day, along with broken sleep throughout the night, did not help your health or mood. Going multiple days without sleep and then crashing are only a few basic models of sleep schedules that qualify as rest for a substance abuser. 

Chances are, you’d be surprised to see the difference sleeping for eight hours every night can make. It can help convert into a far better mood, higher energy levels, sharper mental alertness, better health, and more. But it all starts with getting plenty of rest.

Step 10: Set and Accomplish Goals

The most crucial step to take following substance addiction rehab is to figure out your life goals and set about following them. This will help put other positive things in motion. Now that you’re headed along a solid path towards your dreams like exercising, getting plenty of rest, and being good to loved ones will eventually fall into line. This an especially significant step to practice since you’ve probably not set any meaningful goals due to your substance abuse. Now, your new future is a blank slate, and you can decide who and what you want to be, accomplish in life, but you must make that decision and carry it out.

Get Help Today

If you or a loved one is rebuilding life after addiction and could use guidance to stay on track, we can help. Granite Mountain Behavioral Healthcare can help get you back on track and guide you in continuing your path to sobriety. Let’s face it; sobriety is a sprint, not a marathon. And with unexpected things in life like a global pandemic can disturb even the strongest of sober minds. This is why it is crucial to have a solid team to help you through the rehab journey. 

Do not hesitate any longer. Contact us today at Granite Mountain Behavioral Healthcare and allow our team to answer the questions you seek. Remember, this path does not have to be taken alone. We can help!

Article Reviewed by Gregory Struve

Greg received a Master’s in Counseling from the Adler Graduate School in 2006. He trained at one of the top trauma and anxiety treatment centers in the world until 2008 when he became a faculty member at Grand Canyon University. From 2011 to 2016 he directed a program that leads the field in terms of innovative treatment of anxiety and trauma. During that time he even made several appearances on A&E’s intervention.