When the end of rehab approaches, you will begin to feel a mix of excitement and fear. You have done the hardest part, but now you face the challenge of starting over.
Rehab is like rebirth: You feel new and eager to take on the world. This sense of freedom is bittersweet; you are free from addiction, but now, you have to rebuild your life from the ground up. It took crumbling my life to pieces before I sought out help for my addiction. I had burned many bridges and lost almost everything, and when my addiction was tucked behind me, I was left with the wreckage. How exactly do you start over when so much has been lost? Drugs and alcohol steal away parts of your life, but they don’t have to take it all. Starting over is never easy, but it can be done, and you can have the life you desire with goals in mind and plan to get there. Here’s how to start over after rehab.
One Step at a Time
You can do this because you already have. You conquered rehab, and rehab is not easy. It took dedication, trust, faith, and hard work to finish it. When you complete rehab and begin your new path, you must do it one step at a time. Slowly, but surely, you will get to place where you want to be.
I don’t care how old or young you are – don’t fall for excuses. Your life starts today, and that means you get to create goals to get where you want to be. Go to school, get a degree, start a business, apply for jobs, save for a home, or plan a vacation. Don’t let past mistakes hold you back on achieving your dreams. Start with simple goals that will only take a couple of days to achieve, and slowly add larger goals that will take years.
Make a Plan
I grew up in a family of dreamers. I know what it is to dream big and dream realistically. There is nothing wrong with setting high goals, but you need to have a plan for getting there. After listing your goals, from big to small, start developing the steps you need to take to reach them. When you get out of rehab, you are going to need a job, a place to live, and money to survive. First focus on the basics, and then create a plan to reach your higher goals.
Make New Friends
When I recovered from my drug addiction, making new friends was one of the best things I could do for myself. My new friends didn’t know about my past, and there were no preconceived judgments. They didn’t ask how rehab was or bring up painful wounds; instead, they saw me, the person I am today. As you begin your new life, focus on the positives and benefits of getting the opportunity to start over. Every relationship you develop needs to be healthy, and you have control over that. Life is a beautiful thing as you learn from your mistakes and apply them to future decisions. Starting over isn’t so scary when you realize who you are, where you are going, and the path you need to take to get there.