Recovering from any disorder that has to do with addiction or mental health takes time, guts, commitment and a willingness to change. If you’re in recovery, you’ve already completed one of the biggest challenges; you’re here! Admitting you have a problem and need help is the first step to better days ahead. Now it’s time to face some of your challenges. This can be intimidating! But with the help of your peers and some tools, you too can continue to grow and change.
Many people in recovery face similar challenges with eachother. After all, addiction affects humans physicially, spiritually and mentally. The consequences of addiction are also something many people in recovery have in common. Beginning to clean up those challenges is an important part of moving forward in recovery. Here are a few you’ll probably face:
- Financial Challenges: A lot of people in recovery made a mess of their finances while they were in active addiction. You may have begged, borrowed or even stolen to support yourself. Many people find themselves heavily in debt. Coping with finances can feel overwhelming. Learning to manage your money and start a budget is important. Learn more about how to pay off debt by speaking to others. Prioritize the expenses you need to maintain your living space, eat every meal, and get to and from places. Then decide which debts to focus your remaining funds on. You may also need to consider debt consolidation, a way to pay off debts that allows you to reduce payments so that you can manage them. Also, you should start to tuck away a bit of savings for yourself in the future.
- Relationship Issues: Many people who get clean and sober have trouble with relationships. Addiction damages most relationships, and you may not know where to start when you’re trying to repair your relationships with family or friends. Sometimes, you have to let those people go. You can also work on yourself and build new relationships with people you love. This means becoming a better and more responsible person and giving them time to regain your trust. You can’t fix things overnight. Start by being helpful and caring; offer to run errands, lend your ear for listening, and when you tell somebody you are going to do something, make sure you really do it.
- Loneliness: When you’re in recovery, your old relationships with using friends are no more. Meeting new people requires getting out and exploring new relationships. Try going to new meetings, volunteering, and other activities where you have an opportunity to meet other people whose hobbies don’t involve drinking or drugs. Meetings are a great way to fill this void, and there are many events for people clean and sober to fill your leisure time.
- Cravings and Triggers: Even after detox, cravings, and triggers for drug and alcohol use may remain. Triggers are things that make you feel like using. You will face these issues throughout life. In recovery, you can develop coping skills that help you recognize your triggers and learning healthy ways to react when you’re feeling cravings. This can include calling your sponsor, practicing self-care such as taking a bath or going for a run, or other reactions which you can talk over with your peers or sponsor.
- Mental Health Disorders: Many people in recovery experience anxiety, stress, or depression. How do you know what is healthy and what’s not? If any of these symptoms are disrupting your daily life, it’s time to get an evaluation. Not everyone in recovery has a mental health disorder, but it is quite common. Speak with a doctor or therapist. learning mindfulness, breathing techniques, and other relaxation methods can help. (Video websites such as Youtube offer a variety of material available to help!)
These are five common issues that many people experience in recovery, but they’re not the only issues you may struggle with. Recovery is about asking for help (and lending it) so when you’re struggling with something, reach out to trusted friends and your sponsor. Everybody goes through challenges in recovery, and you will come out stronger on the other side once you confront them.
At ARS, our staff members are here to help you meet the challenges you face in recovery and teach you new coping skills. You deserve recovery! Give us a call at 1-88-959-3277 to get the help you need.