Finding A Fresh Start After Addiction Treatment

by Adam Cook, http://

Image from Unsplash

Getting sober is hard enough, but what comes next is the real challenge of addiction recovery. After treatment, you must face the damage caused by your addiction and start to rebuild your life. It’s a long, hard road, but giving up isn’t an option.

Follow these steps to begin your journey to a fresh, sober start:

Repair Your Finances
Drug and alcohol addiction have damaging financial consequences, including drained bank accounts, overdue bills, and accounts in collections. Deal with any urgent bills, like rent and utility payments, and then assess the damage by pulling a credit report. A credit report provides information on debts so that you can contact creditors about repayment. If debts are manageable, negotiate payment terms with creditors. If the financial damage is extensive, bankruptcy may be an option. Mint explains, “when declaring bankruptcy” is the right call.

You can’t pay off debts without income coming in. So, get serious about looking for work, and find ways to earn money while you search, such as walking dogs, doing lawn care, or taking up another side gig. Make use of assistance programs that are available to you. Receiving food, healthcare, or other financial assistance frees up income for paying off debts so that you can stabilize your financial situation.

Repair Relationships
During active addiction, we push away the people who want better for us. Now that you’re sober, it’s time to make amends and repair those relationships. Share the news of your recovery, own up to the harm you’ve caused, and ask for forgiveness. There’s no guarantee you will be invited back into people’s lives, but there’s no chance if you don’t ask. Know that people will be guarded and hesitant to let you back in. It takes time to prove that you’re stable and trustworthy, but it is possible.

Set and Pursue Goals
Now that you’re out of treatment, what comes next? That’s the big question every person in recovery must face, but you don’t need all the answers right away. Focus on setting short-term, actionable goals that improve your life, even if you aren’t sure of the final destination. If you want a better career but aren’t sure what that is, you can still work toward it with small goals, like writing a resume, taking a college course, or volunteering. Want to improve your mental health? Goals, like finding a therapist and attending a weekly support group, will help get you there.

When setting goals, keep the acronym SMART in mind. As MindTools explains, SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. These are the five attributes all goals must have if you want to achieve them.

Fill Your Time Positively
Boredom is a threat to sobriety. When you’re idle, you’re vulnerable to the cravings and ruminations that send your recovery spiraling. Seek positive ways to occupy your time, like starting a hobby where you can meet like-minded friends, getting outside to enjoy the restorative effects of nature, or volunteering with a local non-profit organization.

Active hobbies are an excellent choice for people in addiction recovery. Exercise not only heals your body after substance abuse, but it also improves your mental health, so you have the strength to stay clean. Try training for a race, joining a team sport, or taking a group fitness class as a way to strengthen your body and your sobriety.

For many people going through addiction recovery, relocating to a new area is a critical part of the process. Not only can it get them away from situations that could trigger a relapse, but according to Recovery Ranch, moving can also give those in treatment a chance at a fresh start. However, when deciding to pack up your things and head to a new area, it’s essential to consider your finances. If you can’t afford to pay rent or a mortgage, then you might want to stay where you are for now. When deciding if purchasing a new house in a new neighborhood is the right financial decision for you, keep in mind that the average price of a one-bedroom home in Fishkill is approximately $230,000. Remember: Just because you can’t afford it now doesn’t mean you won’t be able to do so at some point down the road.

Here’s a list of the links and corresponding word/s where to find them:

These steps may sound simple, but picking up the pieces of your life in addiction recovery is harder than it seems. Not only is there a lot of damage to repair, but you’ll deal with people who expect you to fail — not to mention your own self-doubt. Don’t let negative thinking get to you, because it will only bring you down. Set your sights on the future and, with time and effort, life’s pieces will start shifting back into place.

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Angelica Sargent