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An addiction problem can turn an entire life upside down, damaging career prospects, academics, relationships, health, and one’s day-to-day world. Recovery is always possible, but one of the hardest parts about recovery is learning how to celebrate living in the shadow of a past substance or behavioural abuse problem. A person does not recover from addiction by simply stopping using. Recovery starts when you start living a new life without drugs. If you don’t change your lifestyle, then all the things that lead to your abuse may catch up with you sooner or later. Until you learn to let go of your old behaviours, they will continue to lead you back to abuse.
It’s not enough to tear down the dysfunction in your life, though — you must rebuild something in its place. You can make your life exactly what you always wanted it to be, long before it started spinning out of control.
Using your natural ability to form habits is a good way to rebuild your life after an addiction.
Develop a routine. The best way to be sure you’re doing things that will result in a healthy, happy life is to do them regularly.
Use exercise to move you. Honouring your physical health and protecting it with daily exercise is an important part of self-care. Simply pick a physical activity you enjoy and practice it every day.
Learn something new. Decide what you want to learn and how to get that information. You may choose to read a book or take a course. Be sure you’re always pursuing new knowledge in your life.
Continue your recovery practice. Recovery is an ongoing status. When you think you’re finished and don’t need to practice recovery anymore, that’s when you’re most likely to relapse. Get in the habit of checking in with your counsellor or group on a regular basis.
Maintain social connections. It’s too easy to isolate yourself and start spending more time in your head than is healthy. Make a habit of getting together with friends on a regular basis. You can start small with just one or two close friends, mentors or family members. When you’re ready, expand your circle.
Use these good habits as a goal, add appropriate activities to your schedule and repeat your routine every day and every week. Good habits will help you build a healthy, happy life after addiction.
Know that I am here to help you work through your challenge! Help is one phone call away! 084 779 4889.
Nadine van Rensburg counselling therapist
Credit: Synergy Recovery Services and Hawaii Island Recovery