Many people assume that their life will be joyful, easy and perfect when they stop using drugs. They assume that everything will turn around for them and they can start their life over with little to no hurdles. This isn’t the case, though. There are many changes that occur when you are in the early stages of your recovery. Knowing what those hurdles may be can make it easier for you to plan for them and stick with your recovery. The following guide walks you through a few of the most common changes people notice during the early stages of their recovery.
Your Outlook Changes
The first thing that often changes during recovery is your outlook on just about everything in life. When you were in active addiction, you more than likely didn’t worry about much. You were so focused on getting your next high that you may not have paid attention to things around you at all. Once you are no longer using, there is a good chance you will notice things you didn’t notice before you stopped.
Things that once didn’t matter will suddenly matter a lot to you. You care about what people think of you and how you affect others. This can be overwhelming at first. You’ll second guess everything you say and do for a while, but eventually, it will get easier.
Your Attire May Change
Believe it or not, when you were in active addiction, there is a good chance that your appearance didn’t matter to you. It can be overwhelming to suddenly realize that certain things are inappropriate or frowned upon by society to wear. Many people in recovery find that they no longer feel comfortable wearing the same clothes they wore when they were in active addiction.
You have to feel comfortable and confident in your own skin. This may mean that you need to buy new clothes or even get a makeover to feel like your best self. Once you stop being in active addiction, your body will change, too.
Many users find that they gain weight once they stop using. This is because many drugs suppress your appetite and cause you not to eat as often as you should when you use them. Once you stop using, your body starts getting the nutrition you need, and you may start gaining weight.
Buying clothes that make you feel comfortable can make sticking to your recovery easier. You don’t need to spend a fortune though. Consider shopping at a secondhand store to get clothes until your body stops changing and you can rest assured you are going to be the same size for an extended period of time.
Your Relationships Will Change
The relationships that you have when you are in active addiction are different than the relationships you have when you are sober. Being around people who are still using isn’t a good idea. It can trigger or tempt you to want to use drugs again. Many users find that the friends they thought they had fallen to the side when they stop using. It’s best to lose those friendships than risk a relapse.
Emotions Can Dramatically Change
Even though you think that you are going to be happy go lucky once you are in recovery, that isn’t always the case. You are feeling emotions that you haven’t been feeling for a long time. Many people find themselves in a deep depression once they stop using. This is often because they feel guilty about the things they did when they were high. It can also be because of a chemical imbalance caused by their drug use.
After you stop using drugs, it’s important to see a psychologist on a regular basis. You need to talk about the way that you feel and get advice on things that you can do to forgive yourself and have others forgive you. The doctor can also evaluate you to find out if there are medications you can take to treat your depression. You don’t want to self-medicate for any mental health illness as it could lead to addiction again.
Your Finances Change During Recovery
A great thing that happens when you are not in active addiction is that you notice changes in your finances. You no longer waste your money on drugs or alcohol. Many people in recovery find that they can start getting out of debt very quickly once they aren’t throwing their money away. You’ll start to notice that you have the money to do new things. It’s important to manage it well and learn the skills you need for proper investing. You can save up to get something you really want like jewelry, a car or even a house.
Your Confidence Changes
After you are in recovery for a while and able to stay clean, your confidence will go through the roof. Knowing that you were able to battle from active addiction and get your life in order makes you feel like you can tackle anything.
Having a boost in confidence allows you to have faith in yourself to try new things. You may be able to go back to college, apply for a job you never thought you’d apply for or even learn how to do something you’ve always wanted to do. Having confidence after active addiction takes time, but once you have it, it’s very helpful when creating a fulfilling life.
It’s important to take your time and cut yourself a break when you are in recovery. Having to handle so many changes at one time can be overwhelming for you. You may have the support of your friend and family, or you may battle on your own. Some people aren’t able to look past addiction and see that you have made positive changes in your life. Ignore what they have to say and focus on you. Remember that you are worth every bit of time and effort you put into your recovery. The fruits of your labor will provide you with a stable lifestyle you can actually enjoy. Recovery is a journey that lasts forever, but your life will be a million times better in the end.
Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2007. Call 866-523-7634.
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