One of the biggest fears people have after getting sober is that they won’t go anywhere after. For a long time, recovery is the center of your universe, but then rehab is over, you’re in therapy and everyone expects you to start progressing. You may have dreams, but you aren’t sure you have what it takes to fulfill them. You may still be wrestling with mental health issues, trying to balance this new normal with persistent cravings and bad habits.
Know that despite your hardships, you have fought hard to make it this far, and you can keep going forward. The best way to approach life after recovery is to see it as a journey, not a race. You don’t have to meet anyone’s standards but your own. Just do yourself an honorable service and set ones that bring out the best in you rather than hold you back. This guide will help you cover some of the biggest milestones you may have after getting sober. It takes time to make things happen, so stay patient and trust that each day can be a step forward.
Define Self-Care for You
Do you feel better when you’re surrounded by other people, or do you still need alone time to process emotions and energize? Either way is fine. Some people prefer socializing even more than they used to during recovery because it keeps their thoughts from spiraling. Get plugged into a sober meetup group, attend therapy and take steps to build a self-care routine that feels natural. While the methods may differ from person to person, everyone should be striving to eat right, sleep well and stay active. These are building blocks of a healthy lifestyle that support everything else.
Work on Your Education and Career Goals
Maybe you dropped out of college because of your addiction. You could have lost your job or simply quit because you couldn’t handle it alongside your substance abuse. For many people, recovery feels scarier than addiction because it presents them with so much potential. Addiction is predictable, but a life of choices and opportunity can feel dizzying. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It’s okay to feel a little overwhelmed, but you can also get excited about all the prospects ahead. Going back to school at any age is one of the best ways to expand your horizons and qualify for new careers. If you go back to school, you don’t have to pay for it all on your own either. You can look into private lenders that offer loans to borrow for college expenses and pay back over time.
Allow Temporary Changes
It can be easy to fall into a success vs. failure mentality that stops you from progressing. You might feel like you need to have a certain job or income level to be successful, and if you don’t have it, you avoid applying yourself at all. Temporary changes are necessary to make long-term impacts possible. This means giving yourself room to explore and experiment. Try new things, take a part-time job and give new hobbies a chance. You don’t have to keep everything you experience in your life permanently, but it’s go