When you make an effort to get sober, you’re giving yourself a second chance at life. That’s a beautiful thing for many people. But sometimes people with addiction fear what comes after they sober up.
There is never a time when you will be cured of your addiction. It’s always going to be there. You’ll spend the rest of your life in recovery.
But that can be a wonderful thing.
If you’re not sure of what steps to take after your decision to get sober, keep reading. We’ll lay out the 10 steps you need to follow in order to ensure that you have a happy, fulfilled life after recovering from addiction.
1. Take Time to Recover
The most important thing to remember is that you need to give yourself time to recover. You can’t rush recovery, otherwise, it won’t work. It’s a good idea to consider a residential treatment facility to help you get started.
There will be hard times, temptation, and relapses along the way. That’s okay. A relapse doesn’t mean that you’re a failure.
It just means you’re human.
2. Apologize with Sincerity
Addicts hurt people. Most of the time it’s not on purpose, just the act of being deep in addiction is enough to hurt the ones we love. So it’s important to remember to apologize to everyone who may have been caught in the middle of your addiction.
Your friends and family still love you and want what’s best for you. And the best way to give that back is to make sure they know that you take ownership of your actions.
3. Learn New Expectations
Once you’ve apologized, ask them what they expect of you. Addiction can wreck family ties and confuse relationships. If you have an adult child, the roles of your relationship were likely reversed, for example.
Ask your loved ones what they expect from you and how you can get your relationship back on track.
4. Follow Through
Then you need to put your newfound knowledge and coping skills to work. It’s not always going to be easy, but the end result will be worth it.
Follow through on your promises, meet your own expectations, and try to move on with your life.
5. Meet Sober People
It’s a safe bet that if you hang out with the same people you did when you were in your addiction, you’re going to be tempted unnecessarily. You’re going to want to find friends who are sober.
That doesn’t mean you have to cut all ties with the people you hung out with during your days of using, but you do need to put some distance between yourself and your drug of choice. The best way to do that is to find new friends.
6. Try New Things
Another great way to stay sober is to give new things a try. Pick up new hobbies, volunteer, and make an effort to change the way you were living. Even something as simple as learning to cook could be enough to distract yourself from cravings.
7. Get Active
When we are deep in our addiction, our health and wellbeing take a backseat to finding our next fix. Now’s the time to get that back.
Join a gym, buy some home equipment, or just spend some time every day appreciating the body you were given by moving it and using it in new and exciting ways.
8. Eat Healthy
Your nutrition should be another thing you spend time focusing on. The best way to heal any internal damage from your drug or alcohol use is to nourish your body with the right things.
Talk to a nutritionist and learn how to have a healthy, balanced diet. Put good things in your body.
9. Rest Up
While too much downtime can lead to restlessness and temptation, you still need to make sure that you’re giving yourself time to rest and heal. Overworking yourself is just as bad as not giving yourself anything to do.
10. Move Forward with Personal Goals
Now’s the perfect time to decide what you want to do with your life. You could go back to school and pursue a lifelong dream. You could donate your time or money to good causes.
You could even consider helping other people who are suffering from addiction as well, once you’ve gotten comfortable in your routine.
Life in Recovery and Beyond
Life in recovery doesn’t have to mean a lifetime of 12 step meetings and guilt for the things you’ve done. Once you made the decision to get sober, you can spend the rest of your life bettering yourself and doing the things that you love to do, no matter what that means.
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