This article was sent to be by Adam Cook from Addiction Hub, who wanted to share his research to help people in recovery from addiction to get their lives back on track and truly thrive. His research started when he lost his best friend from addiction. Cook wants to do everything in his power to fight for addiction awareness.
People in recovery from addiction face multiple challenges. There’s the ongoing struggle to achieve and maintain sobriety, the difficulty of getting their lives back on track, dealing with the stigma of addiction in the workplace, and mending damaged relationships with friends and family.
It takes courage and the help of counselors and loved ones to emerge from the darkness of substance abuse and begin a new life. That means avoiding places and people who can trigger a relapse; in other words, it means establishing a new lifestyle. Finding the way back to self-reliance and social integration is a transition that some have compared to a rebirth.
It’s painful, and it’s hard, but with determination and faith, many people are able to find a pathway to a productive, happy life.
Now that you’ve achieved sobriety, it’s a good time to reach out to the people in your life. Let them know what your intentions are, that you intend to maintain your sobriety and that you are sincerely sorry for any harm or worries you may have caused them in the past. The more friends and family you have supporting you in your new life, the more likely you are to succeed.
New friends, new life
One of the cardinal rules of recovery is to avoid people who could trigger a relapse and lead you back to old negative behaviors. It can be a hard thing to do, but it’s important. Individuals you used to hang around with can make it too easy to fall back into old patterns, and represent a danger to your recovery. This could mean looking for a new neighborhood.
You’ll want to find a place that helps you create a healthy, consistent routine without throwing you into the paths of old triggers. You’ll also want a loving environment to rebuild your relationships and bond with your family, a place where you can heal and focus on your recovery.
It’s also important to focus on new activities that support your commitment to sobriety. Pursue a degree, concentrate on looking for a new job, volunteer with a local charity, or join an exercise class.
Following a healthy diet is an excellent way to support a sober lifestyle. Emphasizing nutritional foods such as vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and dairy products will help you feel better and strengthen your resistance to dangerous temptations. Be sure to avoid foods that are high in sodium and stay away from caffeine. Committing to healthy eating habits can be difficult, but the results are worth it. Your immune system will be stronger, you’ll look healthier, and your energy levels will increase.
Get plenty of sleep
Sleep is an indispensable part of the healing process. It strengthens hormonal activity, helps regulate your body chemistry, makes it easier to concentrate, and boosts your ability to fight off illness and infection.
It’s important to establish a regular pattern of 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night, particularly if addiction has fostered poor sleep habits, with extended periods of wakefulness followed by inordinately long stretches of sleep. Regular sleep habits help prevent heart disease, mood swings, memory problems, and much more.
Old friends may not be the best option for building a support network when you’re in recovery, especially those whom you associate with bad habits. Instead, establish a group of sober acquaintances.
Churches and many civic organizations offer sobriety group sessions. Consider joining a 12-step recovery program with individuals who understand exactly what you’re going through. It’ll give you an important forum for sharing experiences, fears, and feelings.
Committing to recovery and a life of sobriety truly means starting over. Your new life will come with challenges, though. Avoiding temptation and people who may trigger a relapse, and choosing healthful eating and sleep habits are important factors in helping you thrive in a life free of dependency.
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