Life Changes After Treatment

by | May 18, 2017 | Recovery | 0 comments

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Getting sober is hard. Maintaining sobriety is even harder. Your life goes through changes whether you spent time in a sober living house for treatment or not. Recovery is a lifelong process, and it begins with a metamorphosis. After you detox, you face a life without drugs or alcohol. While this is difficult, it does not mean that it can’t be done. After all, it is not easy to live a life with addiction, either. Sober living for an addict is so much different than the life of someone who is not an addict.

After a sober living program, you will find that you will undergo many changes. These changes will be mental, physical, and emotional. You may not be able to see these changes yourself. But if you complete treatment and commit to a substance-free life, they will occur. Your loved ones will be able to see the changes, even if you can’t. In fact, they may view you as an entirely different person. But with time, you will see how far you’ve come.

Our program at Amethyst Recovery Center ensures that addicts learn the skills and tools they need after treatment. After months and years of being drug or alcohol free, you can define your life without substance abuse. This is when all of your efforts come to fruition. With your own resources, you can live a life of sobriety. More than that, you can learn to be happy. Keep in mind that not everyone can identify with the life changes they make. You may be too hard on yourself when it comes to changes – perhaps you are not viewing yourself in the correct light. When you finally do find that light, you can look in the mirror and feel proud of how far you have come. Below are some of the life changes patients may see after undergoing treatment in our facility.

This article is part of our series on substance abuse.

Mental and Emotional Changes After Treatment

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Perhaps one of the most fascinating and beneficial aspects of treatment is your new freedom in life. You are free to experience your life in a totally new way without the crutch of drugs or alcohol:

“Once we find that our emotional and mental states are much better regulated without the “help” of drugs and alcohol, we can begin experiencing life in a brand new way. This is when we truly spread our wings and fly. True, we must still focus occasionally on important aspects of relapse prevention and emotional stability. Nonetheless, it will be far better to do so when sober than when impaired. And in many ways, this concept leads into the spiritual benefits of sobriety.”

The freedom to explore your emotions is a wonderful thing, but it also involves mental and emotional challenges. You may experience struggles with work. You might find that everyday tasks and chores are difficult without being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Simply put, life may seem a little boring. This can take a toll on your mental and emotional health. While you were in treatment, you learned how to get back to “normal” life. Now you must apply these lessons on your own to experience fundamental life changes.

Dealing With Triggers

After treatment, facing the real world means dealing with common relapse triggers that can threaten your sobriety. A trigger can be anything, really. People tell relapse stories that involve them not really knowing what happened. They were doing a mundane task and the next thing they knew, they were buying drugs. Or they were downing a bottle of alcohol. Relapse triggers are very scary. The possibility of relapsing is a constant struggle because your emotions run so high now. According to Psychology Today, your feelings and emotions are all over the place:

“Sobriety can be a very new, often times uncertain and even a scary state of mind. The alcoholic/addict has been used to living and functioning a certain way. Now, all of that is gone or surely has greatly changed. The difficulty in managing these new feelings; taking it slowly and understanding that the body, mind and emotions are transforming can feel so unstable to the alcoholic/addict that they quickly run out of patience to cope with this and believe that relapse is the only way for them to feel normal again.”

This article is part of our series on substance abuse.

Physical Changes After Treatment

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Addicts can suffer from many conditions like liver and lung damage. Of course, the level of damage that was done depends on the substance that was used and the duration it was used. Unfortunately, the damage done may not be evident until after you become sober. If the substance abuse involved needles, the risk of having a contracted disease is possible. Risqué sexual behavior is often associated with drugs and alcohol. The damage may have already been done. But all you can do is move forward and try to reverse the damage:

“In some instances, such as the last we mentioned above, the damage can only be treated. In other cases, however, we may be able to reverse the damage done to us by our addictions. We can start eating better, exercising more, and paying better attention to our hygiene (which will be especially helpful to those who have suffered dental deterioration as a result of methamphetamine). Perhaps our tract marks will never disappear, and the scars of our drunken driving accidents will serve as constant reminders of where we have been and what we have done. But internally, the physical changes we experience will be profound.”

After treatment, you will begin to feel better physically. It may not be immediately, but it will happen. You will feel more energetic and lucid again. Your sleep patterns will begin to normalize. The dark circles around your eyes will begin to fade. You may reach a healthier weight. Your body will get used to feeling good again without the use of chemicals and substances.

Changes You May Need to Make After Treatment

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Your world will be different after substance abuse treatment. After all, drugs were a part of your former life. Now you must make some changes on your own to facilitate healing and sustain your sobriety. One of the most important things you can do is get a new group of sober friends. There is a good chance that your former life involved people associated with drugs. You may have to change your whole circle of friends. Only you can remove the negative people in your life.  You will also have to learn how to socialize sober. Being around others who are in recovery helps you to come out of your shell.

After treatment, the world is yours. It certainly may not seem like it at first, but sooner or later the world will seem better. It is an amazing, exciting world out there. And your life matters. What better way to explore it than to do it as your true self?

 

 

This article is part of our series on substance abuse.

 

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