A new life: building a new life through a process of recovery
After the process of rehabilitation and, potentially, a transition through a sober home or with the help of a sober companion, individuals with addiction face a very difficult task. They need to rebuild their lives, often having to find new relationships, new work, and new ways of coping with their daily lives. This may seem like a daunting task but it is necessary, especially for continued sobriety. What can individuals with addiction do to pursue this goal? CHLet’s take a look.
The two main things to consider are that the process of building a new life will involve rebuilding and will also involve starting from scratch. Depending on your situation, you may feel the need to start in a new professional field or find new connections in regards to your social life.
Sometimes, instead, the focus will be on rebuilding relationships with the family or close friends and repairing the damage that was done to one’s reputation or work history. So, the first step is to ask yourself: where do you need to make amends and where do you need to start fresh?
You may consider what is more functional and better for you. Some relationships that you have might be too tied up in the addiction. For example, many people with addiction find those they used to spend the most time with are also those who also have substance abuse problems or who enable the dysfunctional patterns, such as those who encourage the person to go drinking or those whose leisure centers around drug abuse. By continuing to seek them out, the person in recovery is at risk of encountering triggers. So, many of the relationships founded around drug use or that are toxic, stress-inducing, and negative more than positive should be reconsidered.
Finding new relationships can be a daunting task, however, today’s world offers many opportunities for communities. The first and one of the most important type of community for people in recovery is the support group. AA organizations, therapy groups, and other support groups can help a person become a part of a supportive community in their area. The bonus with these types of groups is that the people within them are likely to have similar experiences and an in-depth understanding of the problems linked to addiction. However, it is also worth exploring other forms of communities that share different activities and might encourage better relationships. Art, sports, and other hobbies often allow the creation of wonderful new experiences and communities.
In terms of work, it may be worth looking into making amends or finding a new workplace. It can be better to look for a new workplace when there is significant damage to one’s relationships with colleagues or when there have been incidents that will be hard to overcome. If the job is a significant source of stress and there are no ways to mitigate this, it might also be worth looking into new options.
Each person should decide for themselves what to do. A change of workplace, career, or job can be associated with significant pressure and stress. It may be useful to seek help in the form of career services or guidance to help you find a new job and prepare for the search. Many places offer support in helping individuals in recovery find new work.
A lot of the changes associated with your life will be related to your lifestyle. How do you spend the day? What do you eat? Do you exercise? What hobbies do you have? What helps you get through the day? While these lifestyle factors might seem as being less relevant, they can be very important for your sobriety.
When people stop using substances, they find big holes that these used to fill. Substance use often serves as a way to fill the time, as the main leisure activity, as a way of relaxing, and so on. It is important to find and make new habits that will fulfill the same functions in a healthier way. For example, it can be useful to seek out new hobbies, arts, and sports to fill time and serve as ways of relaxing and being at leisure. It may be useful to take up meditation as a form of relaxing. Idleness and boredom can make the person more likely to relapse because they have few ways of having fun beyond substance abuse. So, it is necessary to construct new habits.
The process of building a new life is not an easy one. It usually requires a lot of effort. But it can also be an opportunity. It gives the person a chance to find better relationships, better habits, new ways of seeing the world, and new activities for them to do. Building a new life can be difficult but it is always worthwhile.