Addiction is real. It’s a real problem with real consequences and effects. It causes real pain and real heartbreak. And it brings real challenges to the lives of those who suffer from it. Thankfully, though, with the right kind of help and support, individuals who struggle with substance use disorder can overcome this issue. Still, it’s important to have real, valuable guidance in order to live a healthy and fulfilling life after treatment. And part of that guidance is informing people of the truth about life in recovery.
After people overcome drug abuse or alcoholism, they may have to face more challenges. They may struggle to reconnect with friends and family members. They may have problems overcoming shame or guilt in their lives. Maybe this is something you’re facing right now as you recover from addiction. If so, it’s important to learn how to go about rebuilding your life after addiction.
Forgive Yourself First
Guilt and shame are the shackles many people wear after ending a battle with something like an addiction. It’s easy to get lost in a maze of self-disgust, fear, failure, and low self-esteem during this time. So, if you’re struggling with these emotions, you’re not alone. However, it’s important to realize that these negative feelings are actually hindering you from moving forward.
See, if you suffered from addiction, you struggled with one of the most difficult and complex diseases in the world. Substance abuse is a disease that literally rearranges the brain and creates a dependency that can’t be broken easily. You were physically dependent on drugs and alcohol. But you also had an emotional and mental connection to those substances.
Ending those dependencies is no easy task. So, the fact that took the necessary steps in order to recover from substance abuse shows that you have great determination! You should be proud of this accomplishment! Most importantly, you should forgive yourself for the past. Forgiving yourself will give you the strength and peace you need in order to move forward.
Now that you are through living a life of substance abuse, you’ll likely want to reconnect with your friends and family members on an emotional level. But, perhaps you’re realizing that many of them aren’t ready to take that step. If so, avoid blaming yourself or feeling guilty. It will be tempting to beat yourself up about the issues you experienced in your past. But, that won’t be beneficial to you or anyone else.
Remember, forgiving yourself isn’t the same as forgetting or ignoring your mistakes. Instead, it’s the act of acknowledging them and choosing to move forward. It can be challenging to do. But, you must do so before you can truly expect anyone else to forgive you.
Next, Be Patient With Yourself and Others
When figuring out how to regain trust after you’ve overcome addiction, it’s best to be patient. Mending relationships after drug rehab isn’t always easy. Sometimes, it can feel even more challenging than the rehab journey itself. But, practicing patience with yourself and your loved ones will prove to be helpful.
Be patient with yourself because recovery is a journey. It doesn’t end when rehab is over. In fact, some might argue that it’s nearly the beginning. It can be difficult to work through early recovery and move past the struggles you had.
Challenges will continue to occur throughout your recovery. Even if you don’t physically relapse, you may suffer from mental or emotional relapses. Sometimes, you might feel emotions that you don’t understand. As a result of all of these things, you may become frustrated with yourself. But, again, be patient with yourself as you work through this part of your journey. You’ve made it this far!
Also, practice patience with your family and friends. It’s important to understand that your struggle with addiction had an impact on them, too. Addiction may have come between you and the people you love. Perhaps, your substance use changed the way you behaved. It may have made you irritable, angry, or indifferent. Maybe it caused you to become isolated.
When addiction affected your life, it also made things difficult for your family members. So, they may not exactly jump at the chance to become a major part of your life again. That’s okay! Do not allow that to make you discredit your achievements. Instead, practice patience with your family members and friends, understanding that it may take them a while to come around. Eventually, they may see the change in your life. But, it will definitely require time and patience on your part.
Rebuilding Relationships After Addiction
As you work to reconnect with loved ones now that addiction is in your past, there are a few things to put into practice. As mentioned before, forgiveness and patience are two important factors of this journey. Here are a few more critical factors:
- Honesty. Be honest about your challenges. Be honest about your victories. Be truthful about the ups and downs of your journey and make sure your loved ones can truly see that you mean what you say. This leads to another important factor.
- Keep your word. Maybe you’ve told your loved ones that you are going to attend family therapy or 12-step group meetings. Perhaps you’ve committed to meeting with them for dinner once or twice a week. They are going to be watchful and attentive as you work through this stage of your recovery. Keeping your word about self-improvement or spending more time with your family can encourage and reestablish trust.
- Have an open-door policy. This is definitely an important factor as you work on rebuilding your life after addiction. Your loved ones may need to talk things through with you and share their feelings. Likewise, you may need to do that same with them. Having an open-door policy opens up the way for meaningful and healing communication. As a result, you and your loved ones will be able to move on with a deeper understanding of each other.
- Attend counseling/therapy together. As mentioned a little earlier, you may commit to going to family therapy as you work to reestablish healthy relationships after drug rehab. Therapy can be one of the most helpful components of recovery. Perhaps you and your spouse are struggling to reconnect. Maybe your children are having a hard time. You might be struggling to be open and honest with your parents. Family counseling can be beneficial for your entire family unit. It can help your family members to better understand what you’ve been dealing with. And it can help you to better understand what they’ve been experiencing. Understanding is a key element of the healing process. Therapy can help with that!
Taking Care of Yourself Throughout Recovery
Another very critical thing to remember as you recover from substance abuse is the importance of self-care. Ending addiction is far from easy. But, the challenges don’t end when the treatment process is over. Even after you complete rehab, it’s best to put some very healthy routines guidelines into place.
Maintain accountability throughout your recovery journey. It’s often difficult to stay on track after treatment is over. It’s especially difficult in cases where family members and friends aren’t exactly ready to offer the support you need. It will be absolutely necessary for you to practice accountability in order to stay on course. Perhaps, you’ll need to look for an accountability partner or attend group therapy sessions regularly.
Take up a hobby. Although it’s simple, it can be very helpful and healthy for you!
Establish boundaries for yourself and others. This can be challenging because it’s hard to recognize or establish your limitations. But, this is critical to a successful recovery. For instance, some of the people with whom you were close before addiction entered the picture may never be as close to you again. It’s important to avoid over-extending yourself in order to force things to go back to “normal”. Also, avoid letting such disappointments negatively affect you. It’s easy to become discouraged and stop moving forward when situations like this occur. But, setting boundaries will help to prevent you from over-exerting yourself. This will also help to improve your emotional health.
Take care of your physical health. No doubt, addiction caused some health issues and unhealthy changes in your body. Now that you have moved past substance abuse, it’s time to take your health back into your hands! Exercise and nutrition will both prove to be helpful. It’s also good to maintain a healthy sleeping pattern.
Avoiding Relapse After Addiction
Sometimes, people who struggle to rebuild healthy relationships after addiction become very discouraged. This can lead them to think very negatively and develop harmful behaviors. In some cases, people may even suffer from physical relapse, reverting to alcohol or drug abuse.
But, this doesn’t need to be the case in your life. You can avoid relapse while working through this part of your journey. With the proper amount of support, you can maintain your newfound sobriety.
For more information about ending addiction, remaining free from it, and the next steps after rehab, just contact us today. You can call (866) 327-2505 to speak to our team here at Crest View Recovery Center!