If you’ve done the hard work of getting through an addiction you’ve already proven that you can beat the odds. It’s time to celebrate with a new start. A new start could be as simple as making a promise to yourself and a few minor changes in your lifestyle. Or, you could go bigger with changes that will remind you every day that this is a fresh beginning. If you are thinking about your next step after addiction, consider these options for a whole new you. Turning over a new leaf after addiction can be challenging and exciting at the same time.
Old habits can be hard to break. It’s easier to stick to healthy choices in new environments when you’re surrounded by people and places that won’t trigger you. For this reason, many who have fought addiction consider relocation as an attempt to start anew. If this is you, there’s lots to think about, but this exciting change could mean a happier you too.
The first step is planning. Are you considering moving to the West Coast? Things to consider before moving to San Francisco or any other new city may include how you’ll get your belongings to your new place, rental prices, and the cost of living. As you do your research, be sure to check out surrounding areas and look for places with things you like to do. Hobbies and interests like working out at the gym, art classes or even vintage shops could be important to look into as you find your new place.
Whether you’re moving or not, if you’ve just come out of a rehabilitation program or haven’t been working, it’s time to consider a new job. Like with where you chose to live, you could start entirely over. Now is a time for new beginnings. Consider your interests before committing to any particular line of work. A happier you will more likely translate into a sober one too.
Maybe you’ve always loved fashion and would enjoy working in a women’s clothing store. If you are great with your hands and have always wanted to build, you could look into work as a carpenter’s assistant. Or, maybe your dream job involves something you need a diploma or degree for. Now is the time to also consider returning to school to get the certificates you need to be more employable. The opportunities here are endless.
If you aren’t sure where to start, consider a trip to your local unemployment office and ask for an appointment with a career coach or job placement expert. They will know of training programs and jobs in your area and can not only give you ideas but help point you in the right direction.
Building a Support System
Whether you decide to move or to stay put, it will be important to surround yourself with people who are not only sober but value your recovery and sobriety too. Nothing is more triggering than returning to the same social networks where old friends or family are actively using. Your best chance at maintaining your new healthy life is staying away from people who might tempt you. It’s imperative you build a healthy support system now. After all, no one can do everything alone.
For extra support, look into recovery meetings and groups where weekly and sometimes daily meetings can help to pull you through hard days. Also consider calling your local community mental health agency or a university with a psychology program. Both these places have student interns studying substance abuse who will gladly see you on a sliding scale basis or even for free. There are also support groups for addicts in recovery online.
Exciting times are ahead for you. With your new commitment to sobriety, pat yourself on the back and jot down a bucket list. With all the big changes and new adventures ahead, you’ll want to be sure to have some fun, too. Getting past an addiction is not something everyone is able to do. Now is the time not only to celebrate but to redefine your life, goals, hopes, and dreams as well.