For those of us, who have mustered up the strength to admit their shortcomings and issues with addiction, for those who chose to seek help in a rehab – do you ever consider what will your life be like once you are done with your rehabilitation course? What will you do when the recovery stage is considered complete? Perhaps you are an addict still, but simply ponder how will you cope, will you be able to resist the temptations and have the strength to support yourself through these kind of difficult times. One thing is for certain, just because you are an addict or an addict in recovery, that classification does not define you or what you can achieve in life.
Structure in an addicts life means everything. It gives reasoning and meaning to the actions he or she takes, does or considers. Chaotic approach and going with whatever twist your life throws you is what got you addicted in the first place. Do you have a plan for when the addiction recovery part of your life is over? If you don’t, here are some ideas you could dedicate your free time to.
Become the example you had during your recovery.
Once you are out of recovery, its hard to find a direction at first. It has probably been years since the main thing to rule your daily life has not been centered around finding drugs or using them. At the same time, you have succeeded, your hardest trials and tribulations are over. It’s no surprise that former addicts fall in two main groups. Ones that put their addiction behind them forever, move on with their lives and try to forget anything ever happened. Then there are those who learn from their mistakes, wear their addiction recovery as a badge of honor and strive to share their success story with less fortunate and still addicted people around them.
Either case if perfectly fine and acceptable. You don’t owe anything to anyone, short of gratitude of course. If you wish to move on with your life and forget you were ever in need of help, that is your right. However, if you feel like this challenge in your life needs to mean something, I urge you to consider helping others. No doubt there were people in your therapy group that you looked up to, that helped you through your toughest hours of rehab or recovery. Become that person. Help addicts to climb that slippery slope with your experience, your understanding, empathy, and support. Not only does it help you stay focused and fills you with a sense of purpose, you are also helping others change their lives around – a very noble and respectable thing to do.
Find a job
This might seem an odd thing to focus on after recovery, but as most addicts know it is incredibly hard to keep a job while being addicted. An addict values nothing more than their next hit and work ethic and attendance goes out the window as soon as you are daydreaming with the drug of your choice streaming through your system.
First things first, establish if you wish to return to a similar job you had or perhaps it is time to turn over a new leaf and look for something completely new. Odds are, your old job had something to do with you turning to drugs. Long hours, boring desk work or perhaps feeling meaningless in a factory job. These things happen. Not everyone is cut out for those kind of jobs, so consider if you wish to return or start fresh.
Considering there is a certain amount of stigma towards former addicts when it comes to job opportunities, sit down with someone from your group or a sponsor and put together a CV that underlines your skills and willingness to work and dedicate your attention to it. Do some research and look for any ex-convict or ex-addict work programs, there are countless of them across the globe. They are catered to people looking to turn their lives around and could be just the thing you are looking for.
Don’t lose focus
It’s been years since you are out of recovery. Your family is happy, you have a stable job. Those hobbies you took up take up most of your time and all is well in the world. If only you could save that time you spend each week in the group meetings. Might just skip a few to paint the new fence, no harm done right? Wrong!
The amount of people that relapse and fall into the same old traps after being clean for years, it’s staggering. Don’t lose your focus. Stay true to your treatment plan, your meetings, and group therapy sessions. Whatever you choose to do after recovery, stick to your rehabilitation plan. Your body might no longer be addicted to various chemicals, but your mind still remembers that feeling you had when you took a hit or a bump. Every formed addict will tell you that the cravings and temptations come at moments you expect them the least. The best way to ensure you have your head straight is to remain in close contact with your sponsor, rehabilitation group and people that care about you and what you might do if left unchecked.
If any of this is of interest to you, I want to congratulate you. You have made a huge step already. Either you are fresh out of rehab and looking for ways to enrich your now sober life, or you are an addict about to make some very hard decisions. Don’t be afraid to look for help, there are other people out there just like you and together they can help you stay true to yourselves and those around you.