4 Tips to Take Back Control During Addiction Recovery
Guest Post by: Rufus Carter
Drugs, alcohol and addictive substances have a way of taking over your life. If you are in recovery, however, you are on the right track to take that control back and start living life on your own terms again. Taking steps to get your life on track again can take some additional effort. Use these tips to maintain focus and manage your life during recovery.
Acknowledging Addiction and Addiction Triggers
When you are struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, it’s fairly common to feel like life has gotten a little messy. In fact, this messiness is what leads many people to admit addiction in the first place, and you have to acknowledge how monumental of a leap this seemingly small step really is in your recovery. Admitting that you have an addiction is the first major step towards taking back control over your life. You can’t just stop at recognizing an addiction, though; to really heal, you have to be willing to get to the root of your addiction. This can be unresolved mental health issues, family history, or other triggers, but once you acknowledge the root of your own reliance on addictive substances, you can begin to move forward, learn to avoid or adapt to triggers, and eventually feel more in control of your life.
Dealing With Addiction-Related Routine Changes
In addition to working through recovery, you may also need to sort out some related collateral damage. For example, if you were convicted of reckless driving or a DUI, you will need to look into the possible impacts on your finances and routines. If you’ve been convicted of reckless driving, you may be able to complete a defensive driving course in order to have points removed from your license and avoid higher insurance premiums. If you have been convicted of a DUI, you will likely need to deal with a suspended license. While you may be able to access a “hardship” license, you may also need to look for alternative transportation methods, such as public transit, so be sure to research options for getting around town.
Picking Up The Pieces During Addiction Recovery
Getting the concrete areas of your life back on track during recovery, such as your job and mode of transportation, can feel stressful enough, but the stress of dealing with the emotional fallout of addiction can be overwhelming. First and foremost, you need to focus on your emotions during the recovery process and find ways to constructively deal with those emotions. It’s common for those in addiction recovery to feel shame, guilt, frustration, and anger, or even a mix of feelings throughout treatment, so don’t be surprised if these emotions pop up for you. Ask your counselors and treatment providers for some helpful ways to cope with these unpleasant feelings, or find self-care routines that will lessen their impact on your overall recovery. If you begin to experience hopelessness or suicidal thoughts, it’s especially important to seek help immediately.
Maintaining Positive Focus During Addiction Treatment
When you have the tools to address and cope with negative feelings, such as shame and guilt, you have the tools to break yourself out of the negative thought processes that can make maintaining sobriety more difficult. Those negative patterns can only make your anxiety worse and make you feel less in control of your actions, your recovery, and your life. If picking up the smaller pieces of your life makes you feel overly anxious or guilty, or just adds extra stress that makes your treatment more of a challenge, then consider putting those steps off. Because ultimately, focusing on yourself is what will make your recovery efforts stick and give you the comprehensive tools needed to maintain long-term sobriety and control over your life.
Reaching out for help takes courage, so give yourself some credit for taking this giant first step in your recovery. Try to remember that this is a healing process, and healing processes take time. So stay focused on yourself and your treatment, and only take additional steps as you feel comfortable and able to do so.
Photo Credit: Pixabay
About The Author:
Rufus Carter has been in recovery for 9 years. For the past 6 years, he has worked as a personal trainer. His website, recoveringworks.com, organizes resources for anyone in recovery who is trying to choose their career path. With the site, he hopes to help those in recovery create fulfilling and lucrative careers.
Samantha is the author of "My Bipolar Mind: You're not alone," she is also a freelance writer, blogger, and mental health advocate who runs and manages her own mental health blog MyBipolarMind.com.