Many life changes take place in rehab, including learning how to take care of oneself in opiate addiction recovery. Maintaining recovery for the long haul is difficult, so it is crucial that people in recovery focus on whatever it takes to get to their best mental, emotional and physical health possible.
A Shift in Perspective
For recovering addicts to devote themselves to sobriety, they must discover or rediscover that life is worth living, that sobriety is worth fighting for. And for that, it takes a big mental shift, a complete change of perspective. That shift most likely begins in group meetings, listening to others’ recovery stories and getting to know people in recovery. Getting a sponsor, reading books, listening to positive people and avoiding negative influences will make it easier to shift gears, mentally and emotionally. It’s important to replace the negative dialogue in one’s mind with positive, life-affirming information and people to keep you focused and steady as you begin to build a new life after addiction.
It’s challenging and overwhelming to build a whole new social life, to find new non-using friends and begin doing social things that non-addicts do, but every step you take in this direction is one giant step toward getting healthy.
Structure vs Chaos
In rehab, every part of the day is mapped out by someone else. Now it’s up to you to take the necessary steps to be physically and mentally healthy. From eating healthy and exercising regularly, to finding work and attending meetings, to spending time with family and new friends…it’s all part and parcel of life in recovery. And to do all that, you have to be intentional. You can’t just let the day take you where it will, because too much time on your hands leads to old, familiar places.
Life in addiction is chaotic, unpredictable and stressful, but having a routine provides structure, stability and confidence. Structure is essential. If you don’t plan to succeed, you won’t. Routine allows people in recovery to feel more in control, which makes it possible to prioritize and accomplish healthy goals.
In recovery, we talk about ‘one day at a time,’ and that may seem overused. But when you focus on one day and accomplish the list of things necessary in that day for good health—nutrition, exercise, work, meditation/journaling, meetings, therapy, etc.—you feel empowered for the next day. Plus, if you structure your day for recovery-based productivity, you keep distractions like loneliness, boredom and other addiction triggers at bay.
It is challenging, but there are people all around you who are ready to help. If you don’t know how to eat healthy, it’s easy enough to find out… online or through a friend or family member. If you need motivation for exercise, find a gym partner or a running partner. If you need sober friends, begin looking in your group meetings, reconnect with non-using friends you’d left behind in your previous life. Seek out people you admire, and get to know them better. There’s nothing selfish about prioritizing yourself during recovery and asking for help.
If you are searching for rehab or recovery services, then call our toll-free, 24-hour helpline to speak with our admissions coordinators. Whether you have questions, need information or are ready to find treatment right now, our staff can help.