Recovering From Addiction: How to Get Your Life Back on Track

Recovery is an ongoing process.  Life can feel like an obstacle course and make staying clean challenging.  With some thoughtful strategies in place, you can navigate those stumbling blocks and set yourself up for success.

Your Mindset

One of the top priorities in your recovery is maintaining a healthy mindset.  There are key components in how to make that happen:

Willpower.  Let’s face it, temptations are everywhere.  You can control your environment to an extent – and you should – but you will need to embrace your willpower to successfully manage your day-to-day challenges.  Know that you can do it; as scientific studies show, your willpower is only limited if you believe it’s limited.  What’s more, with every time you come out ahead of a challenge, you strengthen your ability to successfully bypass the next obstacle.  

Stay positive.  Psychology Today notes you may at times feel a sense of loss as you leave your old ways behind.  Remember your new lifestyle is healthier for you mentally and physically, and look at the bigger picture you’re creating.  

Connect.  It’s tough to stay positive, but if you find yourself dwelling in the wrong direction, get in touch with your sponsor or therapist.  Keep your tribe on speed dial and reach out for help when you need it.  If you feel lonely or restless, connect with someone who supports your new lifestyle.  

Continue your program.  Once you are sober, you may receive a variety of stresses and pressures from all directions.  Relationships with family members and friends will need to be reshaped based on your new choices, and there could be conflicts and coping you’ll need help with.  Continue meeting with your support groups and therapist throughout the process.  

Be patient.  You and your loved ones endured a lot, and healing takes time.  The journey can be emotional and turbulent.  Remember your family members and friends are also going through a process.  Believe in yourself, and that you are going in the right direction and at a healthy pace.

Your Lifestyle

Reframing your lifestyle needs to be a top priority in your recovery.  Here are the main components in making that happen:

Your home.  You will need to find an appropriate place to live following rehab. Look for a place that promotes a healthy routine that’s away from possible triggers.  

Your tribe.  Surround yourself with people who support your new lifestyle.  People who love you, encourage your healthy choices, listen to your troubles and who are living a clean lifestyle themselves will help you thrive.  And as noted by PsychCentral, severing old habits and relationships may be hard, but necessary.

Your car.  If you’ve let your car insurance policy lapse (perhaps due to a suspended license), your old insurance company may no longer cover you. You may have to find an insurer who covers high-risk drivers. The premiums will be higher, but at least you’ll be back on the road.  

Self-care.  A healthier lifestyle includes a good self-care program.  You need to get enough sleep, exercise, and eat right:

  • Sleep.  Addicts often struggle with getting enough sleep.  Your brain chemistry is altered, and in a sense your body forgot how to sleep well.  It’s vitally important to establish healthy sleep habits.  Get on a routine and try not to sleep during the day, since it may make you socially isolated.  
  • Exercise.  Some scientific studies have found that exercise can help rebuild the damage in your brain caused by addiction.  It also helps fight other health concerns and is good for your self-esteem.  
  • Eat right.  Choosing a healthy, balanced diet is also important to your self-care.  Some researchers found that people in recovery can be confused by what their bodies tell them, often craving sugar or caffeine in lieu of other substances.  Choose chicken, lean red meats and fish for your protein sources, and eat plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables.  

Recovery is challenging.  Be successful and avoid relapse by setting yourself up for success.  Get into the right mindset and reframe your lifestyle to avoid your old stumbling blocks.