Rebuilding Your Life After Addiction
Addiction impacts people in different ways. But for many people who overcome addiction, they find that their lives have changed drastically. Addiction may have meant that along the way, they lost their job, friends, or family.
The effects of addiction can mean that an addict’s personality changes – pushing away the people he or she loves. Inability to function each day can mean that a job was lost. In turn, financial instability after addiction can push an addict back toward a substance. Lost relationships and a lack of support can similarly make it harder to stay clean and prevent recurrence of the addiction.
For these reasons and many more, it is important that a focus is put on rebuilding your life after addiction. It is not an overnight process but a long-term one, starting with the parts of your life most critical to keeping you stable and drug or alcohol-free.
Friends and FamilyFriends and family may no longer trust you if your addiction has influenced your ability to be honest and transparent to those you love. Trust can take years to build but unfortunately, it can be shattered in an instant. Particularly for those who have struggled with addiction for many years and let down friends and family numerous times – this can be one of the biggest challenges you will face when rebuilding your life.
It is important not to expect too much, too soon. Address each person in your life one-on-one and be prepared to listen to the devastating effects you may have had on each person. It will not be easy but it will be vital to helping you empathize with those you love and determine the next steps to rebuilding a trusting relationship.
Career and Financial StabilityFor those whose addiction has impacted their job, this will be a critical factor to consider when rebuilding your life after addiction. You may still have the same job, but your performance could have suffered. If you had to take a hiatus from work to receive treatment for your addiction, the perception colleagues and your boss have of you may have changed.
What is important is that concerns in the workplace are addressed. Try scheduling a meeting to speak honestly and frankly to those affected, particularly if poor performance has had a significant impact on the company. What will earn you respect and make a difference is to outline the next steps for you at work. Show how you plan to ensure you remain clean and sober while focusing on the practical steps you will take to deliver results in the company.
Where financial instability may have contributed to your addiction in the first place, speaking to a career advisor can help. It is important to prevent falling back into addiction and ensuring you are in a strong place financially is key.
Moving Forward in a Healthy WayThe consequences of addiction vary from one person to another. The choices you have made along the way and the effects they have had on those around you will dictate how you must now rebuild your life after addiction. While it is far from easy, addressing the hurt and impact your addiction has dealt on friends and family is a critical part of overcoming addiction.
Not only do you help to establish support for the future, but also you may find your relationships are strengthened beyond even where they were before your addiction. Important too is to build up parts of your life such as career that can give you financial stability and provide you with meaning and satisfaction each day. Rebuilding your life after addiction is not an overnight process, but it has lasting rewards.