Starting Over After Treatment

You’ve taken some brave steps to rebuild your life after addiction. You’ve gotten the treatment needed to begin repairing the physical and mental damage of substance abuse. So what now? It might seem daunting to take that first step back into reality after a residential our outpatient experience. Here are some things you can do to help yourself in recovery.

Forgive Yourself

First things first. You are most likely carrying around feelings of shame and regret. Don’t let it consume you. You’ve made mistakes but you have already come so far. You’ve recognized you have a problem and have sought help. It’s time to move forward and focus on the positive things in your life. This begins when you forgive yourself. An article in Goodtherapy.org says, “Holding onto feelings of anger or other negative emotions, even those directed toward one’s self, can lead to a decrease in emotional, mental, and physical well-being.”

Join AA or NA Support Groups

Regular 12-step meetings bring the recovering community together for support and understanding. AA and NA offer several options for homegroups and online meetings so that you feel as comfortable as possible. If individual therapy is in your budget, certainly continue to seek help from professionals. Recovering addicts need to surround themselves with a positive, supportive network. Build a recovery team who will be there when you’re struggling and who will cheer you on when you succeed.

Repair Broken Relationships

Whether it’s your marriage, parents, siblings or close circle of friends, there is no doubt the addiction has negatively impacted a relationship. For a marriage, experts suggest investing in professional counseling to strengthen the broken trust and communication. For family members, encourage them to attend Al-Anon, a free support group for family members, friends, spouses – anyone affected by someone’s addiction.

Focus on Your Health

Substance abuse has taken a hefty toll on your body, mind and spirit. When drugs or alcohol take over your life, you’re not getting proper sleep, nutrition or exercise. An article from Medicine.net breaks down the health benefits for each and provides some additional tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It’s helpful to download fitness apps like MyFitnessPal where you can create your own food and exercise diary, get nutrition advice and join community forums.