For any individual who has suffered from drug or alcohol addiction, finding balance can be key to achieving long term recovery – but it can also pose a heavy challenge. Addiction is a disease that greatly involves being off-balance; extreme highs as well as extreme lows; obsessing over a certain activity or drug of choice while paying little attention to things like family or work. In active addiction, the scales are often tipped far to one side of the scale – creating a lack of balance for both the individual struggling with the drug, as well as families, friends and spouses.
You see, addiction is a disease that continually demands more:
More feel good
Individuals who suffer from addiction find themselves wanting to experience only the good, and discover ways through drugs and alcohol to numb the bad. Life revolves around substances that seem to protect them from pain.
Once a person who struggled with addiction begins their journey to recovery, it’s important to understand that a life of balance will help keep the highs and lows in check – without the assistance of a substance. It’s important to understand that no one can avoid painful feelings and memories – and that intensifying good feelings through substance isn’t healthy. Running from feelings is no longer an option in recovery.
In early recovery, some people may miss the extremes they experienced while using. Recovery doesn’t have to be boring. Here are seven ways to keep your life in balance:
- Understand Finding Balance is a Process.
Learning to live in recovery will take time, and your life will never be fully balanced. Rather than obsessing and striving for perfection, consider striving for progress.
- Find Small Accomplishments
Breaking up life’s daily tasks into small, manageable steps can help you find both balance and a sense of accomplishment. When an individual is in early recovery, it may seem as though there is a large amount of damage to clean up – whether it be finances, relationships, employment. Building a sober life means taking things day by day ask task by task – and recognizing the accomplishments along the way.
- Create a Schedule
Developing a realistic daily or weekly schedule can help to reduce anxiety and the feeling of being overwhelmed. Writing tasks down a day or two ahead of time can help to ‘unclog’ all of the scattered thoughts in your head and focus on what you really need and want to accomplish. This is a great way to bring balance to your life.
- Take Care of Your Body
When you were in active addiction, you may have put off certain things such as dentist appointments, yearly physicals, or even physical activity all together. Focusing on well-being and healing goes beyond sobriety – it means treating yourself and your body in a healthy manner. Take time for your health.
- Don’t Put On A Front
Creating a balance in your social life means not pretending to have it all together. If you are struggling, talk to someone – if you’re having a bad day, don’t try to be a social butterfly. There’s no need to try to keep up with other’s expectations.
- Create a Budget
In active addiction, chances are you spent quite a bit of money on drugs and alcohol. Now that you’re no longer shelling it out on substances, you have the opportunity to save. Creating a realistic budget will not only alleviate financial stress, but set you up for a more stable future.
- Ask For Help
Learning to experience your emotions in a sober state will take time. Keep in mind that it is OK to ask for help from others who have experienced this process. Connecting with others in recovery and asking for help when you need it will help you deal with life on life’s terms.