Finding Success in Your Recovery
Coming to terms with addiction and completing a rehab program is a significant step toward living a fuller, happier life. However, transitioning from the protection of inpatient rehab to living independently in the “real world” is going to present challenges. At first, there will be a whole host of feelings, like excitement, hope, insecurity, and anxiety. All the emotions that you experience are expected or reasonable, but they shouldn’t be allowed to direct your behavior in all cases.
There are a few things that you should do, and a few that you shouldn’t, to find lasting success in recovery:
Extended use of drugs or alcohol causes physical deterioration that continues long after getting sober. Eating well after rehab repairs some of the damage and when you eat better, you feel better. If you give your body the right fuel, your energy level increases, your mood and mental focus improve, and you can be more productive. A healthy diet including lean meat and fish, nuts and seeds, and fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens is essential for everyone but of particular importance to those new to recovery.
Drugs and alcohol inhibit your brain’s ability to produce necessary neurotransmitters. Some in recovery may experience post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) that may include fatigue, anxiety, depression, and problems with concentration, among others. Regular exercise helps release essential brain chemicals that naturally elevate your mood, improve motivation, reduce stress, and improve sleep quality.
Engage in forgiveness
Part of the recovery process will involve looking at the past and making amends to those you may have hurt, as well as yourself. Resentment is a poison and forgiving yourself and others will be one of, if not the most powerful step that you will make in recovery.
Connect with thriving people
It is necessary to re-engage the healthy relationships that you may have disconnected from during active addiction. People from your past that believe in you and lead happy, productive lives can be a remarkable influence on your future success. A robust support system is vital to your progress. Spending time with new friends that are thriving in sobriety is also a powerful motivator.
The reality is that the mess that we make when we are active in addiction needs to be cleaned up and it is very rarely an easy task. It can work for the newly sober to find the good in things. A daily effort to acknowledge and focus on the things that you are grateful for will help set your mind on a positive track.
Helping others is a fantastic way to find gratitude. Random acts of kindness, helping a neighbor, anything that you can do for someone in need will make you feel good and help you to appreciate your own blessings. After some time you will be able to encourage and inspire others that are new to recovery.
Have a plan
You need to create a purpose, define your goals, and make an action plan detailing how you can achieve those goals. This plan doesn’t have to be earth-shattering. Keep it simple, but give yourself a direction and have concrete ideas about what your day should look like to make progress. A little progress is still progress.
Of all of the things that will contribute to your success in recovery, this may be the most intimidating. The thought of silencing your mind may seem impossible. There are a lot of online resources that can guide you in a practice. However, perfection isn’t the goal. Just giving yourself a bit of time every day in a serene place to enjoy the quiet and be in the moment will do wonders.
Having a daily journal is a great way to reflect and track your progress. Your journal is only for you and allows you to express yourself in any way that you want without fear of judgment. Addiction and early recovery involve chaos. Giving yourself ten minutes every evening to put all of the day’s thoughts on paper can be cathartic. Eventually, your journal will become the source of inspiration for new goals for the future.
Don’t underestimate your addiction
This can be tricky. You are eating right and exercising, getting along well with your family and friends. You feel good. Things are good. This could be when you let your guard down and think that you can go back to some of the old people and places and be ok. Always stay vigilant in avoiding potential triggers, especially when you feel great.
The Non 12-step approach to treatment and recovery that is employed by the specialists at Prominence Treatment Center allows for a gradual re-entry into your old world with newfound independence. After inpatient treatment at Prominence, you can take part in day programs, or a less structured live-in transitional program, and when it is time to move on you will have the tools for relapse prevention but can count on continued care and support.