Being in recovery for a drug or alcohol addiction can be one of the most overwhelming life changes. In addition to learning about the nature of addiction, you have to change your life priorities. The people you hang out with, the places you go, and the things you do will all have to be changed.
It can be scary and lonely, but looking at these changing priorities as important steps toward living a more fulfilling, healthy life will make the transition easier. Here are a few tips for dealing with the changing priorities of recovery.
1. Friends and peers.
One of the most important things to change during recovery is the people that you surround yourself with. This can be especially hard, as even the people you believed to be good friends may still encourage you to drink or use drugs. If someone can’t understand how important recovery is to you, then it may be time to cut them out of your life as painful as it may seem.
Even a family member or partner can be uncooperative in this respect. Other people in your life may understand your recovery but may be drinking or using drugs themselves. It’s important to maintain a distance from these people in the early stages. Later on you may be able to be around drinkers, but until then you need to focus on recovery.
2. Honesty with yourself.
This involves accepting the plain and simple fact that you’re an addict. Telling yourself it’s alright to drink or use drugs like marijuana will only work against you. Stop making excuses or lying to yourself and focus on what’s real.
3. Let yourself be helped.
There’s no shame in asking for help, It can feel shameful and uncomfortable at first, but know that the only way to recover is to ask for help. There’s no way to do it alone.
4. Accept the support of others.
There are others out there going through the same experience. recovery can be an especially lonely experience, so it’s important to have at least a handful of people that you can call when things get rough. There’s no need to hesitate or feel ashamed about asking for the support of another person in recovery. Remember, that person is going through or has gone through that same experience themself.
5. Stay active.
Boredom is another challenge of recovery. You’ll find that you’ll have a lot more idle time on your hands and the worst thing you can do is sit around thinking too much. Get involved in activities. Take a class in something you’ve always wanted to learn about, play a sport, or volunteer for a cause you care about. Organizing activities with other sober people is a good idea as well. You can plan fun outings or just make a plan to hang out. Either way, you’ll stay occupied and ward off feelings of loneliness and boredom.
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