Getting yourself to a position where you can make a meaningful recovery from addiction is instrumental. Whether it’s little or nuanced changes in behaviors, any effort is a step forward in the right direction.
Whether you’re currently enrolled in a program or already making progress on your own, you deserve to be commended for making a conscious effort to change your lifestyle.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration identifies four areas that can significantly improve recovery: purpose, health, home, and community.
How can these four areas translate into action steps which you can apply in daily life?
1. Acknowledge the past and move on
As the saying goes, what’s done is done. What you’ve done in the past no longer has to define who you are as a person. Of course, acknowledging the past and moving on is easier said than done, primarily if your past actions have caused physical pain or emotional distress to others.
However, there’s a purpose as to how you got to where you are now. You have to gather your bearings and find a sense of purpose and meaning to move forward. To successfully do so, you need to start re-integrating into society and find something worthwhile to do (e.g., a decent job, a volunteer opportunity, etc.).
While it seems almost impossible to do, there are many options for you to explore if you ask people you know and look in the right places.
For instance, the US Department of Labor has a program called Career One Stop, which lists potential work opportunities within your area. Also, you can also sign up as an apprentice in another government program, which equips you with hands-on career training and certification to take on jobs.
2. Prioritize your health
As you continue making steps towards a full recovery, you will start changing your habits. When making your health a priority, it helps to clearly define the specific goals you aim to achieve and outline action steps.
If you intend to exercise more often, you should write down the number of times you should hit the gym or go for a run in any given week. If you want to improve your food choices, you should take note of clean and healthy recipes that you can do at home.
The road will be bumpy, and you might sometimes stumble, but don’t be too hard on yourself. Give yourself a reasonable amount of time to adjust to the new lifestyle.
However, if you feel like you’re about to relapse into old habits, don’t be ashamed to get back to a drug or alcohol rehabilitation program and seek professional help.
3. Surround yourself with good people
The people you meet around the home and community can help you get to a better place. You should make it a point to communicate with people who support your recovery frequently. Additionally, it’s crucial to cut ties with the ones who encourage destructive habits.
Supportive relationships and social networks help you become accountable for the recovery goals you set out to do in the first place.
Forge a new path
Recovery is a work in progress that takes a long time to bear fruit. When it does bear fruit eventually, you can look back with contentment and see how far you’ve come.