There is an important saying about recovery:
You don’t recover by ending your drinking or drug use; you recover by creating a new life that makes it easier to no longer drink or use drugs.
In other words, it’s not necessarily the fact that you’re no longer drinking that makes you sober. Instead, it’s the lifestyle that you create after treatment that supports and sustains your sobriety.
So what kind of lifestyle might support your sobriety? The following are some aspects of life to consider bringing into your life which could eventually create a loving, healthy, and safe way to live.
Find ways to relax. When you seek drug treatment, you’re likely going to learn an array of ways to relax. You’re going to encounter new ways to cope with stress and anxiety. Part of drug treatment is not only getting sober, but it’s learning how to stay sober and recover your health and well being. Instead, of grabbing for a drink, you might meditate, practice yoga, or exercise. Instead of smoking pot, you might take a hot bath, go for a swim, or sit and read a science fiction novel. After treatment it’s up to you to continue finding ways to relax. It’s up to you to utilize relaxation tools, especially during times of stress and anxiety. Have those tools ready for instance after a long day at work or when you’re feeling a stressful from a strained family relationship. While before you might have turned to drugs to escape from these moments of anxiety, now relaxation can be a new way to cope when life gets challenging.
Eat well. Nutritional eating can in fact aide the healing process during recovery. Returning to a diet that is rich in nutrients can help replenish the body, giving it energy, repairing organ tissue, and strengthening the immune system. Recovering addicts can actually use certain food to facilitate their healing, such as those that increase the production of serotonin that help enhance mood. Feeling better physically and mentally no doubt can facilitate one’s overall experience of life, providing a better outlook on the recovery road ahead. Many treatment centers argue that feeling better reduces the risk of relapse. In fact, nutritionists believe that many addicts are so unfamiliar with the feeling of hunger that they can sometimes misinterpret that feeling for a desire to drink, leading to relapse. This is a mistake that can be remedied during recovery with frequent, healthy meals. Healthy eating is another way to create a life that supports your overall well being.
Avoid high risk situations. When you think of high risk situations, you might think of going out with drinking friends and staying out all night. You might think of driving while under the influence or making bets with friends on how much you can drink. Perhaps when you’re in treatment, avoiding these sort of high risk situations is obvious. However, there are also other high risk situations that anyone can experience anytime, and these are when you’re feeling hungry, tired, angry, or lonely. These feelings have for many people led to drinking or drug use. For instance, instead of taking a nap when you’re tired, you might get upset and end up drinking. Or instead of eating when you’re hungry you might lash out at your wife, feel bad about it, and then end up at the bar to cover your guilt. When you’re angry, you might also use drugs as a way to do something with that anger and then give yourself the freedom to get into a fight. For many, feeling lonely can also lead to drug use or drinking. The Alcoholics Anonymous community uses the words hungry, angry, lonely, and tired so many times that it’s now an acronym for them: HALT. It’s a perfect acronym because the word halt means to stop. So, when you’re feeling any of these feelings (or if you’re in other high risk situations), stop and make the best choice for your health and well being.
If you can accomplish the above three tasks and if you continue to make choices that support your health, you’ll soon find that you’ve created a new life for yourself – a life that is sober, safe, and full of self-love.
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