Although the process of getting through rehabilitation and treatment is the most extraneous and daunting part of beating addiction, sometimes trying to rebuild your life once you’ve gotten through the program can be just as intimidating. This is especially true if you’re going in blindly without any idea about how to go about getting your life back. There’s no playbook to follow or one hundred percent guarantee that anything you try will work out exactly the way that you want it to, but taking each day one step at a time and having an idea in mind of what you need to do to get the results you seek will certainly help you get farther faster.
Before you start getting on with your own life, you should consider the lives of those around you and what they went through while you were suffering from addiction and then what they went through a second time while you were rehabilitating yourself. Your friends and family may not have had to face all of the demons that you’ve sorted through on your journey to recovery, but they had to watch somebody that they love in pain and putting them through a different sort of pain. Making amends with the people that you’ve hurt cannot only help your conscious and rebuild some of those walls that you’ve broken down, but it will also gain you some much needed support during this next difficult stage in your life. Having people to lean on when things get hard and you feel cravings coming on will make the load that you carry a little bit lighter. Seek out the people that you were closest with and explain to them what they mean to your life and how very sorry you are for how things happened. Remember that it may take time for them to be able to trust you again, but if you’re patient and show commitment to the relationships, you may be able to rebuild them.
Once you’ve got a firm support system in place, or at least the beginnings of one, the next important step to take is prioritization. You don’t want to just jump into the deep end without a proper plan in place; you’ve got to decide what’s more important in your life and what needs to be attended to first. Howistoppeddrinking.org explains:
Identify the aspects of your life that are most important to you (make a list in order of importance if it is helpful to you or just make a daily list of things to do) and start there.
This can be your relationships, your career life, school or technical training of some kind, or even just getting yourself moved back into your house or apartment and trying to maintain some order and normalcy before you tackle anything new. Take the time to write yourself a list and order them from most important to least important in terms of what you’d like to see accomplished first. The same mind frame from above must be taken into consideration because nothing will come right away and you can’t let yourself get discouraged if you fail once or twice before you find some success.
Rebuild The Trust
The trust that you had in your life goes two ways which means that while you were suffering from addiction you may have lost the trust of others but also damaged the trust that you’d held for somebody else as well. This could be because you felt betrayed due to somebody leaving you to handle addiction on your own, or for methods of intervention that took place. Whatever the case is, you’ve got to mend some fences and rebuild some bridges before that same trust can appear again. Carole Bennett of Huffington Post writes:
The recovering alcoholic/addict will revel in re-establishing that their words and actions are now their bonds; that like respect, trust is earned, and today, on an accomplished path of recovery, trust is a shining, invisible crown worn proudly atop their heads.
Over time you can prove to the people around you that your word is good and true and that they can actually trust the things that you say. You can show them that they can put their faith in you where they may not have been able to do before and start over with a fresh clean slate.
Modify Your Resume
One important step you’re going to have to take when you get out of your rehabilitation program and back into your normal life is modifying your resume. If you’re lucky enough to have a job to go back to then this step might not be important, but in many cases of extreme addiction jobs are lost and you may need a reboot as far as your career is concerned. This can be one of the more frustrating parts of your journey because the negativity associated with rejection can make you feel the need to return to all of those things that soothed you before and in most cases they may not be the healthiest choices. You’ve got to take each interview seriously, but not so seriously that it’s the only thing on your mind. Understanding that there are plenty of opportunities out there can help keep you from feeling like a failure.
Finally, if you can’t quite get yourself into the employment system right away then consider taking a break from work and becoming involved with giving back to your community through a volunteer project. Not only will this look exceptional on your resume but it can give you some added meaning to your life and help you to feel better about yourself where your self-esteem may be lacking for a while. Choosehelp.com states:
If paid work eludes you, spend at least some of your time volunteering. Try to find volunteer work that you are passionate about doing and which provides job skills and experience that will look great on a resume.
The important thing here is to pick a project that really speaks to you and do your best at everything you do during the assignment. If you really shine then you might be able to get a few references from people that will also help in the job search.