When you are in active addiction, every aspect of your life is affected, which means that every aspect of your life is affected by your recovery as well. Rebuilding your life in recovery is an often exciting and overwhelming time. On the one hand, you now have the opportunity to build the life, career, and family you always wanted. On the other hand, you need to start doing things you’ve never done before. Depending on how long and severe your period of addiction was, this may include basic skills like paying bills and cleaning your home.
Here are a few tips to help you get started when rebuilding your life in recovery.
1. Recovery always comes first
When turning over a new leaf after addiction, your first and primary goal always must be to never return to the mental state of addiction. Learning healthy coping skills for negative emotions, learning to take care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally, and learning to respond appropriately to temptations is critical to not relapsing on your drug of choice. Addiction doesn’t grow out of a desire to use drugs and ruin your life and relationships. It comes out of a desire not to see, feel, or think. It comes from the desire to avoid or ignore all of the negative thoughts and emotions. Drugs and alcohol effectively numbed you to all of your problems, so learning to handle problems directly will allow you to stay healthy and happy in recovery. You likely learned several skills while in addiction treatment, but overcoming the things that led to your substance abuse is a lifelong mission.
2. Focus on your career path
You will need to find a way to support yourself. This will be easier, and you will be happier if you find a way to support yourself that you enjoy and that offers you personal fulfillment. While money doesn’t buy happiness, making enough money to survive is important. When your life is consumed with substance abuse, you aren’t thinking about your long-term goals or ambitions. Now is the time to figure out what career you want and get the training, education, or equipment needed to do it. If you need further education, many student loan programs can allow you to get a degree without a huge out-of-pocket expense.
3. Learn to manage your money
Learning to live within your means and set yourself up financially for the future is critical to long-term success and recovery. There are a lot of factors that go into living within your means and creating a financial future. The first step is to learn how to manage your money, which includes learning how to create and follow a budget, open a bank account, get a debit card or credit card, read your credit card bill, understand your credit report, and create financial stability. When you first get started, it won’t feel good because you’ll likely be broke frequently. However, you put it in your savings account to cover emergency expenses when you have extra money. As it grows, you can use some of the extra money on things you need or want. You can learn to use your budget to plan for what you want instead of feeling like you aren’t allowed to spend.
4. Embrace adulting
Adulting refers to everything that no one really enjoys, but they are necessary parts of being an adult. For example, if you become a homeowner or rent a house, you need to understand some basic home repair issues so you know when you need help to avoid emergency home repair expenses. Knowing strange noises your air conditioner may make will let you know when to call the repairman. Sometimes air conditioners or furnaces make a loud noise, buzzing noise, hissing noise, humming sound, banging noise, bubbling, whistling, or knocks that may indicate something is seriously wrong or the unit is about to breakdown.