For many, starting over with a clean slate after an addiction can often leave them feeling clueless. What are some of the best ways to rebuild your life after an addiction? This article highlights some great points to help you finally start a new chapter of your life.
Life after addiction can prove to be as challenging as life during your struggle with substance abuse. The risk of relapse, the feeling of a “void”, and the temptations to go back to your old habits can surround you–making your feeling helpless when starting over.
However, there are plenty of success stories that show people can definitely turn a new leaf when it comes to addiction. Rebuilding your life may be challenging, but it’s definitely a rewarding experience that makes the effort all the more worthwhile.
According to non 12 step recovery centers, here are some of the top strategies to help you rebuild your life during the recovery process.
Discover or re-discover your passions
Having a passion for something can help you embark on your journey with a sense of purpose and meaning. What is it that you love to do? Did you enjoy painting before you got sucked into addiction? Do you find pleasure in playing an instrument? Do you often find yourself filling pages of your passport traveling to places?
Whatever it is, find what makes you feel alive. Feeling alive doesn’t necessarily mean abusing your body or mind–it could be something that can make you grow, connect with others, and find satisfaction in your life. If you aren’t sure about your passion, you can ask yourself these simple questions:
● Putting your self-imposed worries aside, what do you really want?
● What activity gives you joy?
● What are some things you loved doing prior to your addiction?
● What do you love doing even if you won’t get paid doing it?
These questions can guide you to reignite the passion you want to experience in life, sans the dependence on illicit drugs.
Make your health a priority
Aside from mental and emotional wellness, it is important to put your physical wellness at the front seat. Having a healthy diet and regular physical activity can help reduce the chances of relapse and aid you in a faster recovery.
If you want to form the habit of exercising regularly, you can start by having a designated time in a morning, say 7:00 am before starting your day. You can have a 30- minute workout 5 days a week for starters, and gradually work your way there if you have other fitness goals. It is best to listen to your doctor about physical activity advice during addiction recovery.
Food intake is also essential in rebuilding your life after addiction. Consume a combination of whole foods, those that are rich in fiber, lean protein, and complex carbohydrates. Include more leafy greens, fish, white meat and whole grains in your diet. There are some that swear by meal planning as a great way to improve eating habits during addiction recovery.
It is common for those in recovery to feel isolated because they feel like they have been “pre-judged” by others due to their drug addiction history. However, these self- sabotaging mindsets are not helpful if you want to start a new chapter in your life.
You need to realize that your journey to building a consistent drug-free life begins when you plug yourself to a community. Keeping your struggles to yourself can make the recovery process more difficult, which can potentially send you to bouts of depression and loneliness.
A great way to start socializing more is by joining communities of like-minded people–those who also want to stay away from addiction. More often than not, they can understand your personal challenges better, and they can give solid insights on what to do as your rebuild your life. You can also join hobby groups which can also help you in discovering your passion.
Practice living in the present
A lot of people often immerse themselves in unnecessary stress thinking about the past or looking too far ahead. Sometimes, all it takes is understanding that what truly matters is the present–it’s the only thing that’s in our grasp.
By living in the present, you free yourself from worries about the future. You can skip asking questions such as “Will I just go back to my drug abuse habits?”. You can also stop ruminating about past traumatic experiences about your drug addiction. Some helpful ways to practice living in the present include:
● Keeping a gratefulness journal to list things you are thankful everyday
● Letting go of old things that remind you of a hurtful past
● Smiling and laughing more
These simple strategies can help you appreciate life for what it is at the moment, keeping you fulfilled as you journey along the path to total recovery.
A clean slate doesn’t have to be empty
Starting with a clean slate doesn’t mean that the rest of your journey has to remain unwritten. You have the capacity within you to recreate a new chapter in your life, and your past with drug addiction won’t be defining your future. Take these strategies to heart, and discover the wonderful, drug-free life ahead of you.