By Sandy Baker
As we’ve discussed here, one thing that is very important when it comes to overcoming fear during addiction recovery is to give yourself a chance.
Don’t give up or give in because of fear.
That sounds like such an easy statement but it’s anything but easy. Instead of allowing fears to control who you are and what your life will be like, give yourself a chance.
Realize You Cannot Do This Alone
Addiction isn’t a choice. It’s not possible to flip the switch and turn off the addiction because, as the National Institute on Drug Abuse and Alcoholics Anonymous note, addiction is a disease. It changes the way the brain works because it changes the actual structures within the brain. This alters the brain’s function. As a direct result, you cannot simply give up a drug and get back to life. Recognize this, as it’s at the heart of why skilled recovery is so important. With experienced help, like what we offer here at The Ranch at Dove Tree, you can move forward.
But, How Do You Start Over? How Do You Create a New You?
Recovery from alcohol and drug abuse is a process. One step at a time is the only way to move forward. A part of that is building a new version of you. Here’s how to make that happen.
#1: Put Yesterday Behind You
You’re tough. You’ve gone through a trying time. It’s a battle you’re fighting. And it is one that will change you. Instead of being the old version of yourself, recognize that person is gone. Instead, give yourself permission to be a new you.
- Accept that you were someone different then and that’s okay.
- Don’t dwell on what you’ve lost. Instead, focus on what’s to come.
- View yourself as a blank page with weathered edges. What will your story be going forward? Define who you want to be.
#2: Make Forgiveness Your Focus
There’s likely plenty of blame to go around. You may have a lot of blame for those who didn’t stop you or who may have made it easier for you to be in this situation. Most often, you also have a lot of anger at yourself.
- Forgive yourself. Make a clear decision to stop blaming yourself.
- Forgive anyone that you feel has let you down. The hatred and anger you feel only hurts you, not them.
- Be proud of what you’ve achieved and are working towards in recovery. That outweighs any mistake you could have made.
#3: Create a New Relationship with Yourself
You have many relationships to build. It can be quite overwhelming to realize you’ll need to work on those with family and friends. However, the first step is to create a new relationship within yourself. It’s time to recognize that.
- Now is the ideal time for you to focus on creating the version of yourself you’ve always wanted to be.
- Focus on the words, “I Can.” And, even better, “I Will.”
- Accept your past actions and learn from them. That can help you grow into a new version of yourself.
#4: Find a New Life
This, too, will be a struggle, but it isn’t something to fear. It’s time to find new, sober friends and activities to enjoy. You’ll be able to rebuild yourself more effectively when you have new, positive experiences from which to grow.
- Surround yourself with people who do not rely on alcohol and drugs or use them. Your support team is essential.
- Find new activities, perhaps something you’ve always wanted to try, to fill your time.
- Create a new life one step at a time. Every decision you make – where you work and live, what you do, and who you are with – should always focus on a positive outcome.
#5: Focus on Your Body, Too
Many people in recovery don’t give their body enough time to heal. You may be ready to take on the world or hide from it, but your body needs your support through this process. Recognize it as the only one you have and the importance of giving it the tools necessary for health.
- Exercise every day. Exercise is fantastic for the body and the mind. It builds your physical and mental strength.
- Eat nutritious food. Your team will help you to do just that.
- Focus on healing from within. Try yoga as well as sports, swimming, or other activities you love.
Perhaps the most important step for you to take as you build a new version of yourself is to set and pursue goals. Only you can do this. What is the most important focus in your life? Perhaps it is to be with your child or to have a career. You may want to travel to see the world or just rebuild a relationship with your loved one. Set that goal. Focus on that goal using the new version of yourself.
Fear doesn’t have to stop you from living through recovery and beyond. It does not have to stop you from getting help right now. It’s time to rebuild the new version of you. Who will you be? What will you accomplish?
At The Ranch at Dove Tree, we’re committed to giving you the tools and resources to help you move beyond fear and into your new life. Contact us today to find out what your first step is. We’re available 24/7 to be your support. Contact us now.
10 Tips for Starting New After Addiction. Narconon.
Do-It-Yourself Addiction Cures? Scientific American.
A Brief Guide to Alcoholics Anonymous.
Understanding Drug Use and Addiction. National Institute on Drug Abuse.