Life isn’t pass or fail. Rather, it’s a series of chances to learn from the past in order to embrace a brighter future. For many addicts, however, letting go of past mistakes and moving on is easier said than done.
Unfortunately, this can be an impediment to living well after recovery. Luckily, there are some things you can do to set yourself up for success. Read on for a roundup of ways to support not only your recovery, but also your quality of life after substance abuse treatment.
1. Surround yourself with positives.
Just as positivity begets positivity, negativity begets negativity. The takeaway? The more positive influences you welcome into your life, the more likely you are to stay on a positive path.
This starts with people: Surrounding yourself with friends and family members who aggravate your cravings by using is just the start. The best support system will also remind you of your commitment and help you prioritize the behaviors and habits which will help you stay healthy and addiction-free.
Places and things which can also act as “triggers” are also considered high-risk. By avoiding putting yourself in high-risk situations whenever possible, you can minimize your risk of relapse. In cases where it’s impossible to avoid triggers, maintaining awareness of them can also be an invaluable defensive mechanism.
You also have the opportunity to be positive for someone else. Whether you informally share your thoughts and feelings with another person in recovery or volunteer with addicts in a formal capacity, you can become an inspiration for others — and reinforce your own reasons for recovery in the process.
2. Find new ways to manage stress and relax.
Most addicts turn to drugs and alcohol in a misguided attempt to relieve stress, relax, and reward themselves. While these coping mechanisms may work in the short-term, they backfire over time.
The good news? There are plenty of other healthy techniques which have the same tension-relieving effects. From exercising and meditating to therapy and spending time with friends, recovering addicts have many options which can help them feel better without succumbing to bad habits.
3. Lead with honesty.
Lying is part of an addict’s life. The need to lie arises out of desperation and is ultimately a vicious cycle:
The more you lie, the more you have to lie.
Over time, it’s easy to lose track of what it feels like to be truthful — to yourself and to loved ones.
Being honest also means accepting yourself and your mistakes. Everyone makes them. Owning them and doing your best to move forward despite them is both a liberating and necessary part of recovery.
Ultimately, addiction recovery leaves no room for deceit. By committing to be honest with yourself and with the people who make up your support system, you avoid starting down a slippery slope. As soon as you stop lying, you stop giving addiction a place to hide.
At the end of the day, addiction recovery isn’t just about stopping harmful habits. Rather, it’s about creating a new life after recovery in which it’s easier not to use than to use. While this is anything but easy, it’s also an exciting time in which many addicts ultimately feel gratitude for recovering their lives.
The best part? The longer you maintain abstinence, the better your odds are of continuing to live an addiction-free-life, according to research published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, In fact, in cases where abstinence is maintained for five years, relapse is very rare. In other words, there’s another benefit to starting now and sticking with it: It gets easier over time. Ready to take the first step in your journey to addiction recovery and a better life? Call Harris House to learn about admissions.