By: JC Recovery
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Live Like You are Recovered
Many people strive for sobriety and work for months and years to achieve a recovered life. But what exactly does that mean? How can you tell if you’ve achieved recovery, and what does life after treatment look like? Unfortunately, a portion of people in need of rehab and treatment are afraid of living a sober life, and it is actually what is preventing them from getting the help they need. They have an idea of sobriety in their mind that it is boring, dreary, and so different from the life they have been living that they don’t even want to consider entering treatment.
The good news is that while sobriety is definitely a change, it doesn’t have to be a negative change. In fact, those who have given up their life of addiction are thankful for the second chance and the opportunity to be in control of their lives and their actions again, no longer a slave to a substance. It takes hard work and the support of a solid group of loved ones and treatment professionals, but once you get yourself settled into recovery, you will find there are many more exciting opportunities available to you.
Recovery Brings Positive Change
The benefits of living a sober life far outweigh the negatives, and this becomes obvious when we start to list the good things about sobriety:
- Living like you are recovered means that you no longer have to give in to the desires that once controlled you.
- It means you know you can enjoy yourself without getting drunk or high.
- It means you have developed healthy ways to deal with stress and disappointment.
- It means you don’t have to worry about going places that don’t allow alcohol.
- It means you don’t have to avoid family and loved ones because you are ashamed of what they will think of you.
- It means you won’t miss the games, plays, events, and get-togethers with your children and other loved ones because you don’t feel well enough to go.
- It means your health is better because drugs and alcohol aren’t taxing your body anymore.
- It means you can look forward to getting up tomorrow and the new challenges that come with a new day.
- It means your finances are more stable because you aren’t spending all your money on drugs and alcohol.
- It means you finally have hope for the future.
Challenges of a Recovered Life
Of course, living like you are recovered will bring its own set of challenges as well. Living like you are recovered means you can’t associate with some of your old friends, the ones who were negative influences on you. It means you have to work every day to stay clean and avoid relapse. It means a good amount of your time will be spent in therapy or with support groups – at least for a while.
It’s worth it, though, and anyone who has achieved lasting sobriety will tell you they wish they would have done it sooner, and that they never want to go back. Your life will change, but it will most certainly change for the better.
Important Steps in Recovery
Once you’ve committed to recovery and treatment, your team will walk you through all you need to know to maintain that recovery. The first step toward sobriety is detox. You’ve relied on substances for so long now that you couldn’t even begin to function without them. Withdrawal under professional supervision will allow you to safely come off your substance while maintaining your health. A good detox program will have medical staff available in case they are needed and will incorporate therapy and emotional support during this difficult time.
The next step is addressing the underlying issues contributing to your addiction. Maybe it was a troubled relationship, an abusive experience, a traumatic event, or a general feeling of inadequacy. Psychotherapy sessions will help you understand the events you were a part of, how you reacted to them, and how you processed them. Different types of therapy will help you identify destructive thought processes you have come to develop – thoughts that say you will be happier today if you do drugs, or you need to reward yourself with alcohol for a job well done – and will help you change those negative reactions to constructive ones.
Support and Encouragement are Key
An important step in the treatment process is building relationships that will help encourage sobriety. There will be plenty of times during your recovery journey that you will feel weak and need someone who will encourage you to stay sober. Support groups, a partnership with a treatment professional, and the love of caring family and friends are resources you should welcome during and after treatment. In fact, the number one way to sustain recovery and avoid relapse is to stay connected to the treatment community. Work to develop a solid support group that will encourage sobriety and keeps you motivated in your life of recovery.