Your recovery is a journey that doesn’t have a hard endpoint; your goal is to live a healthy, clean life for the rest of your days. For the first year or more, you’ll be focusing on overcoming addiction, addressing damage, and rebuilding your life. Every day will feel like a different challenge. This is the period most people think of as “being in recovery.”
Towards the end of that period of acute treatment, once it becomes clear that overcoming addiction is possible, people often begin to wonder what they’re going to do with the rest of their lives. After undergoing the psychic transformation that leads to a complete recovery, it’s no surprise if you find your whole outlook on life has changed. This is what we mean when we say that recovery doesn’t end at getting sober. Fortunately, the tools that you’ve used to get over addiction are designed to help you as you move into your future.
One part of treatment is having the support of your peers. Joining a fellowship, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA), provides you with a support structure with others who share your goals and values. Spending time with these friends will keep you from the dangers of isolation, help you explore new hobbies and pastimes, and slowly develop an enjoyable life outside of your old habits.
The relationships that you build in your fellowship will also help to hold you accountable for your resolutions. It’s much harder to get away with drinking or using when you know you’re going to check-in with a group of people who know what signs to look for. If you do fall into relapse, your peers will be there to help you get back up, break you out of the cycle of shame and self-deprecation, and motivate you to get back to your recovery plan.
Your sponsor won’t go away when you hit a specific benchmark, either. They’ll help you form a plan for personal success with certain goals, and you may be able to step back from your sponsor after enough time passes, but chances are they’ll be a part of your life for as long as you want them to. Your sponsor is your coach and they know better than anyone that recovery doesn’t end with getting sober. Look to them as a resource for the next part of your life. They’ve been down this road and they can answer questions you have about where to go from here.
If part of your treatment involves personal psychological therapy–and it often does–it’s almost always a good idea to continue speaking with a therapist or counselor even after you’ve gotten sober. The ultimate goal of therapy is to understand yourself, to take control of your life, and to actively decide what sort of a person you do and don’t want to be. Getting sober is a great and necessary first step, and now you have the chance to build your life in any direction you see fit. Take this opportunity to talk to someone and figure out what direction that is for you.
Be sure to keep up with any physical and mental wellness habits you’ve adopted while in treatment. Exercise, yoga, meditation, walking, hiking, and martial arts are just some examples of the many types of activities that promote clear thinking and bodily well-being. These practices can lend structure to your days, clarity to your thoughts, and evenness to your temperament.
Your recovery will also lead you to reconsider some of your close personal relationships. You may come to terms with the understanding that you haven’t treated the people in your life how you want to treat them. You may realize that certain relationships are harmful to you and your health. You might even make new commitments to your partners, friends, or family once the veil of addiction has been lifted from your eyes.
Now that you’re moving onto the next stage in your life, you have a new chance to repair and build strong, trusting relationships with the people most important to you. Addiction isolates you and causes you to be closed off from people; once you can be fully open and have honest connections with others, you’ll find your life will blossom in new directions. People who you once hid your addiction from will now even be able to help keep you on track, once you let them in. We are social beings, after all, and living in truth and love is a path to unparalleled joy and lasting satisfaction all the days of your life.
Getting into treatment is the first, crucial step on the road to recovery. Remember, though, that getting sober is just the beginning. At Cornerstone Healing Center in Scottsdale, Arizona, we know that recovery is a lifelong process and offer a partial hospitalization program, intensive outpatient program, and sober companions to help you along the way. We work with you to create a treatment plan and equip you with the tools you need not just to get sober, but to stay sober, and to move forward in building a life of joy and fulfillment for all the years that come next. From joining a supportive network of peers and connecting you with a dedicated sponsor, to helping you develop and keep strong wellness habits and looking towards your long-term goals, we provide personalized paths to success in beating addiction and beyond. Don’t just bounce back–step forward into your new life. Call 800-643-2108 to learn more.