Life After Addiction
Creating a Brighter Future
Addiction is commonly referred to as a cycle. Many people who abuse substances feel guilty or depressed when coming down which, in turn, prompts them to “use” again in order to push down the bad feelings. The more this cycle repeats the worse situation becomes until eventually the victim’s only perceived solution to problems is to continue using.
This is one of the more difficult aspects of overcoming addiction. When stuck in a bad situation, abusers obtain a bleak perspective of the future and may never attempt to recover because they see no point in it. Through recovery, you can create a better future for your health, your loved ones, and, most importantly, your peace of mind. The road may be difficult, but you must believe that it gets better the further along you go, because it does.
Figure Out What Makes You Happy
Setting goals is extremely valuable to the recovery process. When you have a realistic goal to work towards it is easier to resist old urges and stay focused on what’s ahead. Take some time to think about what really makes you happy. There are a number of things that become impossible to achieve while abusing a substance and focusing on the things you can do once you are sober can help you remain positive.
Be ambitious. There are a number of things you can pursue after your recovery that will help you stay focused on the positives:
- Artistic pursuits such as writing or painting
- Training for athletic competitions
- Spending treasured time with friends and loved ones
- Finding a new career
- Traveling and seeing the world in a whole new light
You Have Options
You may have closed a few doors when trapped in the addiction cycle, and while it can be hard, once you have recovered this is nothing to stop you from trying to reopen them or finding new ones.
In the United States, people who have received treatment for addiction are protected by the Americans with Disabilities and Rehabilitation Act. This ordinance prevents most employers from firing or refusing to hire an individual on the grounds that they are in addict if they are receiving treatment for their condition. In fact, employers are not allowed to ask if an applicant has struggled with substance abuse or addiction in the past. There are ample opportunities for those who have recovered from addiction to find work in a field that appeals to them.
There’s a Whole Community of People Who Will Support You
Personal relationships often suffer during addiction, and some people that were once close to you may have shut you out entirely. Oftentimes these relationships fall apart because trust has been broken. The people who love you will want you to recover, and though it can be a long and difficult journey, oftentimes the relationships can be mended.
Outside of your old friends and family is an entire community of people who have gone through struggles similar to you. You are never alone after you have recovered from addiction, the people who helped you get there will continue to support you through the challenges that come with life after recovery. Losing old friends and leaving behind others who use may diminish your social circle for a time, but there are always opportunities for new relationships.
It’s Time to Take Back Your Life
Addiction may have put a halt to your ambitions for a time, but once you have recovered there’s nothing stopping you from going back at them in full force. Recovery means that you once again get to live on your own terms. For all the difficulties it took getting here, and all the challenges that lay ahead, this is a new beginning for you and you have a chance to start it any way you like.