Living with substance use disorder can feel like tackling one crisis after another. Addiction is a disease of chaos, and recovery can be the opposite — a life full of control and planning. Usually, people wind up in treatment after reaching a crisis, but after you’re in treatment you can focus on building a stable foundation for recovery and, from there, constructing the life of your dreams.
So, what goes into a stable foundation for recovery? Here’s everything you’ll need to do to have a successful life in sobriety.
Get Professional Help
Substance abuse is a powerful disease, which is why most people need professional help and guidance to overcome it. Connecting with a a treatment center that has a program to meet your individual needs can help you lay the groundwork for a life in recovery.
Sometimes, it’s easy to think that getting treatment is about detoxing and kicking the physical side of addiction. However, good treatment is about much more than that. It will allow you do address the underlying reasons that led to your addiction, including past trauma or undiagnosed mental illness. By healing these wounds, you will be better able to move forward in recovery.
When you’re looking for a treatment center, try to find one that is accredited by the Joint Commission, that offers individualized treatment plans, and that has a low patient-to-staff ratio. That way, you’ll be able to really connect with professionals to help build your life in recovery.
Build Your Recovery Community
Once you’re in recovery, being sober becomes one of the defining accomplishments of your life. It’s natural to want to connect with other people who understand being in recovery. Plus, building a group of sober friends will help reinforce the importance of your recovery, and give you a strong foundation for the future.
But, where to start? If you attended treatment, check with your facility to see if they have alumni services, which can include events and socials. If you are in a 12-step program, becoming active in your meetings can lead to lasting friendship. In addition, there are now dating sites and social platforms specifically for people in recovery.
Just because you’re sober doesn’t meet you need a whole new set of friends, but being surrounded by people who share your commitment to sobriety can help make recovery easier. You’ll never need to explain your choices or justify yourself, and your friends will be there to hold you accountable if you slip.
Find Healthy Habits
Being bored can open the door to trouble and cravings, so it’s a good idea to stay busy in early recovery. That means finding new, healthy-habits to replace the not-so-healthy habits that you’re leaving behind.
Many people in recovery enjoy exploring wellness via exercise, meditation or yoga. However, the possibilities are endless when it comes to picking up new, healthy habits. The hard part is just challenging yourself to be vulnerable and try something new. That might mean taking a dance class, learning how to knit, giving rock climbing a try, or joining a reading group.
Remember, it might take you time to find the healthy habits that resonate with you. Rather than seeing that as frustrating, have fun trying different activities along the way.
Think About What Needs To Be Left Behind
There will be times in your recovery when you realize that pieces from your old life don’t fit into your new, healthier life. This might mean people who trigger your, places that aren’t healthy, or habits that don’t help move you forward. Letting go of things from your past that inhibit your recovery is part of building your healthy foundation, so it’s ok to let go.
Finding how best to live in recovery is a a lifelong job. However, building the foundation for a healthy recovery can start early. Working through your past issues, letting go of people and places who detract from your sobriety, connecting with like-minded friends and building new healthy habits will help you stay sober for the long term.