Addiction, Recovery and Self Care

Admitting to yourself that you have an addiction and you want to get better is a significant step in addiction recovery. But it's only the beginning, and learning to look after yourself again is a long journey. You have to work on healing both your body and mind to be able to move into recovery and sustain your good health. There can be many negative feelings to deal with and overcome, both physically and psychologically, and it's not an easy process to undertake. You must learn to handle your emotions again as you change your lifestyle and are faced with temptation and challenges. Use the following steps and methods to guide you through your recovery and beyond into your life afterward.

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Photo: Caleb Roenigk

Get Professional Help

The first thing that you should do is find help from medical professionals and addiction specialists. While you might want to try and overcome an addiction alone, you will have a better chance of doing so with help from others. Some people choose to use First Step Detox and other detoxing facilities first. These places don't support you through the whole recovery, but they are a good option to start with, before moving into rehab. Choosing your rehabilitation facility or program can be difficult. There are several factors to consider. Think carefully about what you want from the treatment. It might be a religious framework or a particular type of treatment.

Access a Support Network

Having plenty of support from other people is crucial during your initial recovery, and as you continue to live a clean life. As well as the medical treatment you receive from doctors, nurses, and therapists, it's important to have other people you can talk to. You might have family or friends you can confide in, and many people also choose to join a support group. You can have a designated "sponsor", to whom you can talk if you're struggling or just want to confide in someone.

Healing Your Mind

Dealing with your thoughts can be difficult when you're recovering from an addiction. Many people start abusing alcohol, drugs, and other behaviors because they can't cope with what's in their head. During recovery, you can find yourself with feelings of self-hatred and other negative thoughts and emotions. Learning to accept and process these thoughts and feelings can be difficult. But everyone finds their own methods. Some addiction specialists recommend practicing mindfulness to help you stay in the moment. Other people might like to meditate to relieve stress.

Taking Responsibility for Aftercare

Aftercare is about learning to take care of yourself in the real world. Although you can avoid triggers to an extent, you can still be faced with temptation. It's up to you to find other ways to deal with the challenging thoughts and feelings you face. This may sound frightening, but it's about loving and respecting yourself enough to make the right choices. Seeking out support will help you.

Recovering from an addiction isn't something that happens quickly. It takes a lot of time, effort and willpower to change your behavior and the way you approach life. But with time you can learn to love yourself and make the best decisions for your mind, body and spirit.

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