After conquering your biggest fears of addiction and undergoing a drastic transition, getting back into the world can be a whole new experience for people who have had alcohol issues. About 9.1% (22.35 million) Americans have admitted to having resolved alcoholism. This doesn’t mean that they weren’t overwhelmed by the thought of facing the world after leaving a rehab for alcoholics or any other similar center for substance abuse. They worked hard on their lives and finally overcame their greatest fears: recidivism. Many fear that outside the confines of their center, they might go back to old habits and haunts. But there are ways to lessen the rate.
Many often try the first step to prevent falling off the wagon: They avoid going back to the “friends” who pulled them into the hole of addiction. They also try not to think too much about the past. Changing your life is starting a new chapter, and going back to the past is no help. Here are a few other things for anyone who wants to make a change and move on to better things in their life.
Communicate Your Feelings
Many people who have only recovered from alcohol addiction tend to feel out of place and a misfit. This makes them hesitant to open up to even their loved ones. It’s okay if you feel under the weather while dealing with the cacophony of your emotions. However, it’s equally important to communicate with your loved ones or your therapist. This will only make you feel lighter and help you evolve. Talk to the ones who are natural listeners and won’t shut you out. You don’t have to describe your feelings all in one go; take your time and open up step-by-step.
Keep Yourself Occupied
Previously when you indulged in drinking, you most likely did not give yourself time to explore other activities. Now is the time to change that. Since you are purely focused on starting afresh and adapting to a greater lifestyle, make time for some activities that help you keep sane. Go hiking, pursue some courses, volunteer for a good cause — ensure that whatever you do eliminates the vacuum created during your alcoholism.
Join Support Groups
Support groups come in the form of all religions, caste, races, etc. However, what makes them the most reliable option for a newer lifestyle is they are cognizant of your feelings. Most of them have possibly been in the same place as you and have evolved to be better persons after working on themselves. Such support groups help you overcome your post-recovery trauma and help you gain a new perspective towards life and take your first step towards validation.
Alter Your Diet and Health Routine
If you underwent a severe case of malnutrition, the possibility is that your body will have problems adjusting to newer diets. This can also make you uncomfortable, but you need to have patience until your body adapts to it. Gain back nutrition by incorporating only healthy food in your diet. This is imperative to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Make sure that you drink plenty of water and do not leave your throat parched. Avoid junk and fatty foods, food with sugary content, and caffeine. While the changes won’t happen instantly, you need to be on your toes and wait for your cravings to evolve gradually.
Build a Social Life
The chances are that your previous social circle consisted of only alcoholics because of which you ended up being one. It’s time to let go of them and maintain a safe distance with them. There are also chances that you had some sober friends who tried to pull you away from your alcoholism, but you shut them out. It’s time for you to make amends to your relationships with them. You may have hurt them knowingly or unknowingly while all they were doing was to help you. Call them up and talk to them about how you have brought changes in yourself. Build a healthy social life for yourself and prioritize your sanity over past mistakes.
Identify Your Goals
Alcoholism tends to push you away from your life goals and lose perspective in life. But, remember that what’s done is done, and this is another chance you have rewarded yourself. Spend time on self-analysis, talk to family and friends, sketch out your short and long-term visions; draw a purpose, and plan and achieve your goals. In this entire process, make sure that you are surrounded by people who will encourage you to pursue your goals without any judgments.
Remember, your post-recovery process may appear as far-fetched. However, as you communicate your feelings, confide in yourself, and make healthy iterations in your lifestyle, you will adore your new lifestyle.