Rebuilding a Sober Life: One Day at a Time

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

Rebuilding your life after an addiction is something that happens gradually, day by day. While there may be a sense of urgency to get back to the life you once had, it is important to understand that recovery is a lifelong journey that happens one step at a time.

Because of the complexity of addiction, recovery involves peeling back one layer at a time, learning new tools for coping and recovery, and restoring pieces of life that have been broken or missing.

Addictions impact an individual on multiple levels, including:

  • Their physical bodies
  • Mental health
  • Relationships
  • Career
  • Family life
  • And more

With the far-reaching effect of addictions, rebuilding life in recovery works in each of these areas as well, some restored quicker than others.

Each Phase of the Process Needs to Happen

Finding sobriety is something that transpires in a step-wise process. If you or your loved one has been struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, typically the first step in achieving recovery involves physically withdrawing from the substance that is being abused.

Because this process can result in dangerous medical complications, it is important to do this under the care of a specialist or under the supervision of a treatment team who can provide the necessary support for withdrawal. Once safely withdrawn from addictive substances, a person can begin working through the next aspects of their recovery and treatment.

This usually involves psychotherapy, including individual, group, and family therapy. Healing through any underlying issues that have triggered addictive behaviors is crucial to recovery.

The Final Phase: Maintenance

cheering woman open arms to sunriseOne of the final phases of recovery and rebuilding a sober life involves maintenance for ongoing sobriety and repair in other aspects of life. This phase of recovery can take years, as a person learns to put back together the pieces of their life. Depending on the extent of damage from addiction, this might require additional professional support or intervention.

Wherever you may find yourself today in the process of recovery and building a sober life, it is important to know that you can be successful in this journey and in maintaining your sobriety.

It is often said that recovery is taking one step forward and two steps back, so do not be discouraged if you feel as though you are not making progress. There is help, support, and resources to keep you going in your recovery from addiction, day after day.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

What resources have been helpful to you in your journey of sobriety and recovery?

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on July 1st, 2015
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