Starting Over After Recovery

Posted by Rachel Vandel on Jul 24, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Completing drug or alcohol rehab is an incredibly exciting, and monumental achievement for anyone who has dealt with addiction! You should be extremely proud of yourself, for the new life you have anticipated living is finally ready to be built. Rehabilitation has supplied you with the knowledge and skills to take on this next chapter, but it is officially up to you to make it happen. While your time at a recovery center may have come to an end, addiction is a lifelong battle, that will take courage and perseverance to fight every day. To make this transition into a prosperous, and permanent sober life less overwhelming, follow these steps!


Set goals for yourself

After finishing rehab, you are given a fresh start to do create whatever life you dream of. A great place to start this new chapter in your life is by finding your passion, setting goals for yourself, and instilling ways and habits that will make these goals a reality. During your time in treatment, you likely reflected on where you have been, and where you would like to see yourself in the future. You are now at this point, where the future is in your hands. Start by making a routine for yourself. Have a plan for how you are going to spend your days, and what steps you will be taking to achieve these goals. Following a routine will keep you on track and focused on your new path, and most importantly far from relapse. If you lost your job, or are ready to pursue a better one than you currently have, make finding a new job a goal for yourself. If you’re looking for a new place to live, create a plan of action for how you will achieve this. Know your worth and push yourself to live a life utilizing your full and renewed potential!


Let go of the past

After drug or alcohol rehab a crucial part in rebuilding your life is leaving the past where it is meant to be, in the past. After achieving the incredible accomplishment that is completing rehab, it is time to leave this part of your life behind. Upon exiting rehab, you may be faced with situations that arose because of the behaviors that came with continually being under the influence. While it may be easy to look at these positions you are in and feel pain, regret, and guilt over your past, it is essential that you do not let these thoughts consume you. Yes, you made mistakes, and some bigger than others, but as has everyone else at some point in their life. Our past and our mistakes do not define who we are, but rather what we have chosen to take away from these mistakes and how we are living in the moment is what matters. In the case of having just completed treatment, you have made an enormous stride toward bettering your life. Remember to look at how far you’ve come, rather than dwell on the past. No amount of regret or sadness can change what has happened, and it will prohibit you from working on the bright future you have ahead of yourself.


Develop a supportive network

After leaving recovery a vital step is reevaluating your social circle and making sure everyone in your life is encouraging of your sober life and wants to see and help you remain on the right track. Before entering rehab, many addicts find that, not surprisingly, the people they spend most or all of their time with are fellow addicts as well. After reaching a place of sobriety, it is essential that these connections are removed from your life, as continuing to engage with them will only put yourself at risk for relapse. These people will tempt you with their lifestyle choices and encourage you to go back to your old harmful ways. Now is the time to establish a strong, encouraging group of friends. Do not fear loneliness, or use this as an excuse to keep these damaging relationships in your life. If you are ready to branch out but don’t know where to begin, there are countless numbers of ways to make positive new connections after sobriety, such as:


  • Attend AA meetings or join a self-improvement club
  • Join a gym and attend fitness classes
  • Volunteer in your community
  • Join a book club or other social club
  • Take up a new hobby and take classes, such as cooking or dancing
  • Get to know your coworkers
  • Reach out to people on social media or on meeting apps
  • Take night classes that interest you at your local college


The opportunity to grow your social circle and make meaningful connections are endless, no matter where you live or what situation you are in. Even a task as mundane as taking your dog to the dog park could lead to a conversation and the development of a new friendship. What’s vital is that you do not hold onto any festering relationships that will lead you back to a path you have worked so hard to get away from.


Apologize to whomever it is due

In the midst of cleaning up your crowd and finding like-minded people to surround yourself with don’t forget about the people that may have distanced themselves while you were struggling with your addiction. Be it your mother, spouse, child, or best friend it is never too late to reach out, apologize, and make amends with these loved ones. These people are likely the ones who genuinely care the most, and couldn’t bear to see you in a place this low. Be understanding of the distance they put themselves at and their reasons for this. Let them know how much you value them and the relationship you once had. Reaching out to these people, expressing remorse for the way you acted and the actions you may have committed, and giving a sincere apology can go a long way. Inform these loved ones of the steps you have taken to better yourself, completing drug or alcohol rehab and beginning on the path of your new sober life. Actions speak louder than words, and you have to show these people you are committed to change and your new lifestyle choices.


Find a new hobby

An individual reading a book-Reading a book is one of the great hobbies individuals starting over after recovery can pick up.


After completing recovery, boredom is not a state you want to find yourself in, as it can be potentially dangerous for ex-addicts and result in a relapse. Before treatment, abusing drugs or alcohol likely occupied any free time you may have had. Now that you are out of rehab it is crucial to find a new, positive way to spend your time, ensuring your mind does not have time to wander. Developing new hobbies is beneficial for people in recovery in many ways, providing a rewarding new way to stimulate their mind and body.


Fun sober activities include the previous ways listed to make friends, as well as:


  • Go to a sports game
  • Read a new book
  • Travel around your city and beyond
  • Attend a concert


Music is an excellent outlet for people in the recovery process, as music therapy is a common form of treatment used for addiction. There are songs about recovery out there that will continue to inspire you to never look at drugs or alcohol again, as well as help you to feel less alone in this process. Art therapy is another creative, and fun way for recovering addicts to express themselves and keep their minds steady after treatment. Make finding a new hobby not only a goal but a priority in your sober life, and remember that finding a hobby you are passionate about is a process of trial and error. If there were hobbies you partook in before your addiction, start trying these out again and see if the interest is still there. If not, welcome new opportunities to branch out and grow yourself and your abilities in new ways.


Make your health a priority

Throughout the months, or years you spent fueling your addiction your body has likely suffered the consequences. After the neglect, now is the perfect opportunity to get both your mind and body in the best shape of your life. Now that you are sober this does not mean you are necessarily healthy. Start by working on your diet, eating clean and healthy foods, limiting yourself to sweets and junk food, and drinking plenty of water. You will not only feel better physically but mentally as well. Studies have proven that healthy diets, ones consisting of a high intake of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, fish, olive oil, low-fat dairy, and antioxidants decrease the likelihood of developing depression. After working on your diet, it is also important to make exercise a part of your everyday life. Regular exercise does not have to be going to the gym and running every day, there are many fun ways to incorporate fitness into your life, such as doing yoga, swimming, or playing a sport. You likely partook in daily exercise while in treatment, and continuing this routine will keep you on your sobriety track. Developing healthy eating habits, an exercise routine, and putting a solid sleep schedule into place will significantly impact your health.


Beware of signs of relapse

After completing the long journey that is drug or alcohol treatment your main focus that you never want to lose sight of is maintaining your hard worked for sobriety. Unfortunately, relapse is not uncommon for addicts, with the NIDA estimating that as many as 40-60% of recovering drug addicts relapse. While these numbers may not necessarily sound optimistic, it is all in your hands, and there are ways you can eliminate the possibility of falling into a relapse. To prevent a relapse, it is critical that you establish what your triggers are, and determine how you can avoid exposure to these situations. There are warning signs you should be aware of that could lead to a relapse, such as finding yourself missing times where drugs were involved, visiting places where you used to use, or hanging out with people who are still using. Have a plan of action for how you will handle these feelings, such as reaching out to a loved one or a counselor at your treatment center. Should a relapse occur, know that your recovery process does not end here, seek help and get yourself back on track.


Take it one day at a time

While finishing drug or alcohol treatment is an enormous step toward a better life it does not mean all your problems will be solved overnight. The time it takes to get and stay on the track you desire is different for everyone, and there is no reason to feel discouraged about that. Looking on the bright side, and focusing on the life you are building for yourself is vital. Take your time as you make these shifts, for putting too much pressure on yourself will only leave you burned out and exhausted. There are ways to keep you on track, like having routines in place for every day, and continuing to remind yourself that all your problems do not have to be, and will not be, solved all at once. At the end of the day you have worked very hard to get where you are, and any step in the right direction is something to celebrate and be proud of!


Take the first step toward a new life

A young woman walking up a set of stairs. This daily activity also represents her taking the first step to a new a sober life following recovery.


Are you struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction and longing for the opportunity for a fresh start, and start living the life you dreamed? Make that first step today, at Landmark Recovery, a premier drug and alcohol recovery facility committed to your successful recovery. At Landmark, we are a composed of a dedicated staff of individuals that are passionate, authentic, courageous, and uncompromising in our pursuit of excellence. We supply our patients with lifelong skills developed through detailed, individualized action plans that will ensure addiction remains a part of your past. Reach out to Landmark Recovery today, and begin your path to sobriety and the lifetime of happiness you deserve.



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Topics: Recovery

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