Life After Addiction

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shutterstock_230826877Men and women who struggle with addiction do not always realize they have hit rock bottom until their lives are spiraling out of control and relationships, work and personal lives are shattered. It can be hard to know how to pick up the pieces after such devastating losses but there are ways to recover after addiction.

Resilience

The human mind, body and spirit have incredible abilities to bounce back from adversity. Addiction is devastating but it does not have to define a person’s life. What matters is the ability to be resilient, malleable and open to change. A good first step in building resilience is asking for help. An individual cannot fight addiction alone, it takes a village.

Accept Responsibility

Many lives are affected by addiction, both the individual and those around him or her. While it is not possible to erase the past, it is entirely possible to change the future direction of one’s life by taking ownership of what happened and making amends. Family, friends, loved ones and coworkers will appreciate the effort it takes to reach out and seek forgiveness. The true test comes, however, when an individual puts their money where their mouth is (so to speak) and takes action on their words to stop using, repair the relationship and focus on a healthy recovery.

Persistence

One of the biggest challenges in recovery can be living in the day to day minutiae of life. Cleaning house, doing laundry, going to work, paying bills and fitting everything in between such as time for a social life, friends and family can seem daunting. Stress can build and push an individual’s capacity to endure stress to the breaking point. It is often when stress is highest that addiction rears its ugly head and temptation returns. The key here is to have dogged persistence. This means a laser focus on the goals of recovery, working the steps and using the building blocks to create a stable foundation off which to work. An individual in recovery is not going to remain sober if they drop the steps, stop attending group or decide to give up. Build a social network of people who will be a support system. Sponsors, recovery coaches, counselors and friends in recovery are great people to be surrounded by in recovery.
The active work of recovery begins the moment an individual decides to get, and stay, sober. Every day will seem like a battle at first but eventually, it does get better. Utilization of social networks, accepting responsibility and persistence are healthy ways to experience life after addiction. Practice these daily and find others who are doing the same to build a healthy life in recovery.