Once you’ve recovered from addiction, you know you can accomplish anything. However insurmountable a task might seem, it’s minimal compared to everything you’ve made it through already. But, of course, post-rehabilitation life offers challenges, too. One of these? Making the most of your fresh start. You’ve already made a significant transformation, and now you have the chance to make even more adjustments and create your best possible life.
Make tangible changes.
Likely, you can already see differences in your body and mind since your treatment began, whether it’s reaching a healthy weight or looking and feeling better than you have in a long time. But that doesn’t need to be the end of your tangible transformation. If the “old you” got a now-unwanted tattoo, start saving to cover the laser tattoo removal cost. Of course, the change doesn’t need to be as drastic as tattoo removal—even a change as simple as dying or cutting your hair can be enough to give you a distinct physical marker of the new and improved you.
Adjusting to life in the “real world” after treatment isn’t always easy. One way to make the transition not just easier but more meaningful is to find a way to give back to your community or society at large. Maybe you’ll go back to school and work towards a Master of Science in Nursing, or MSN degree, studying to become an RN, nurse educator, or another specialty in the realms of patient care and gaining the certifications you need to help save lives. Or, if an MSN program isn’t a good fit, you may consider volunteering at a hospital or other venue where you can make a difference without being a nurse practitioner or other trained professional.
Confront your past.
It might feel like recovery is never really over, but the best way to come to peace with your past is to confront it outright. If you did things you’re not proud of now, acknowledge that. If there’s a way to make amends to yourself or others, do so. If not, work to move past any feelings of guilt, shame, or other not-so-fun emotions you might be feeling. You might find that attending several sessions with a counselor can help you come to terms with memories and reparations in the aftermath of addiction, or you might have resources through your existing treatment plan. Whatever your method, find a way to move past your past so that you can focus on your future.
Get on the best path.
There’s no doubt that you’ve started on a healthier, happier path by seeking treatment and moving through your recovery process. But it’s important to maintain that momentum by continuing to implement positive changes. Work to build self-discipline to mitigate issues with restraint and self-control. Give yourself a strong sense of direction by pursuing a new career path or enroll in a degree program to give your future ahead star—you can even opt for online programs if you aren’t in the position to attend in-person courses while working towards your master’s degree or other certification.
From volunteering or getting laser tattoo removal to exercising or enrolling in an MSN program, there’s no one way to embrace your fresh start after recovering from addiction. It’s just important that you work towards the brighter future that’s in front of you. Please spend some time contemplating your goals, whether it’s career goals like obtaining a graduate degree and taking on leadership roles or personal projects like improving your diet or creating a unique new look. Then, take your first step to being the best version of yourself.