If you are entering recovery from substance abuse, you have many possibilities in front of you. It is likely that during your addiction, you were very focused on the present and the immediate future. When each day is a struggle, it can be hard to look too far ahead. Now that you are on the journey to recovery, you can start looking at the bigger picture.
Before your addiction, you most likely had many ambitions. These might have related to your career, school, or relationships. You also most likely had hobbies and other passions that you poured time and effort into. While having a substance use disorder does not erase any of those things, substance abuse can make it hard to focus on your dreams and goals. These can be inadvertently cast to the side. Fortunately, you are in a position where you can start thinking about these aspirations again and take steps to achieve them.
Accept What Has Been Lost
While there is a world of possibilities open to you, it is also important to recognize the reality of the situation. Addiction can take a lot away from you, and some of it can be hard to get back. For example, substance abuse can take weeks, months, or even years away from you. If you had a “five-year plan” before you developed an addiction, you will have to accept that your life is going to follow a different timeline than you had anticipated. This does not mean that you can’t achieve what you had planned because you certainly can. It just means that you must adjust your expectations.
There are other things you may have lost to your addiction. One example might be important relationships. If you were in a romantic relationship with someone prior to your addiction and then had to part ways because of your substance use, it can be hard to accept that that part of your life is over.
You may have envisioned a future with that person, and it is difficult to grieve the loss of what you shared with your partner in addition to the loss of what could have been. While there are opportunities to make amends and repair relationships, there are also instances where your addiction has closed certain doors. Coming to terms with these losses can help you look toward the future and work toward what is possible.
Take Stock of Your Values
Addiction takes a lot of time and energy. As you recover, you might find that you have lost touch with things you used to care about. This could include moral beliefs, visions for the future, relationships, and hobbies. These may have been elements of your life that were once effortless and just an aspect of everyday life. It can be jarring to have to consciously incorporate them back into your life in recovery.
This is an opportunity to really assess what is important to you and what you want to devote time to. You might find that you double down on certain things while you let other things go. This is helpful information as you prepare to live life on your own terms and free from addiction. You can use your values and passions to determine what you are working toward in recovery.
Stay the Course With Recovery
The best step you can take toward achieving your goals and ambitions in recovery is to put your recovery first. Recovery is a conscious process that requires effort each day, and it is important to remember this and take it seriously. The following are some building blocks of recovery that can help guide you toward success:
- Remember the reasons why you chose to recover in the first place and keep those in the forefront of your mind.
- Utilize the coping strategies you developed in treatment.
- Keep up with therapy and any groups you are part of, such as Alcoholics Anonymous.
- Take good care of yourself physically and tend to your mental health.
For many people, relapse is a part of recovery. Experiencing a relapse does not mean you are starting over at square one. It does not erase your progress or indicate that you are unable to stay sober. If you experience a relapse, you can get back on track with recovery with the help of your treatment team. Sober monitoring services can provide an additional layer of support as you learn to sustain your sobriety.
Creating New Dreams in Recovery
The goals you had prior to your substance abuse may not be the goals you have now. Maybe you no longer want to climb the corporate ladder at your company and would rather take a role that is less demanding and leaves you more time for your family and hobbies. This does not mean that you are weak or that you aren’t trying hard enough. There are just some instances where a puzzle piece that once seemed like it was the perfect fit is now slightly misshapen. Spending time and energy trying to wedge that puzzle piece into the bigger picture can be demoralizing, and it is better to use those resources to find the piece that actually fits.
Recovering from substance abuse can help you find yourself again. You can get back to the things you love, realign your life with your values, and resume working toward your goals. You may even find that your goals have changed and that your life is going to take a different direction than you imagined. As difficult as recovery can be, returning to what you care about and what excites you can help you navigate even the most difficult days. Family-Centered Services is here to support your journey. We offer comprehensive services to support your recovery, including therapy, a Family Recovery Program, sober monitoring, and case management. Call us at (509) 991-5822 to learn more today.