One of the hardest things for recovering alcoholics to do is to move on with their lives without alcohol. For those who found themselves dependent on it, it is often like parting with a good friend. But the key to living without alcohol is realizing that alcohol is not your friend. It has caused you a lot of trouble in your life and created pain and a sense of failure. Some people have lost jobs, spouses, and respect due to their addiction. That’s not what you want to be any longer. It’s time to move on.
Going through treatment for your problem is essential to moving past the disease and rediscovering health. But the work is just beginning. The biggest challenge for a recovering alcoholic is how you will move forward with your life once you have managed to release yourself of your alcohol dependency.
How to Have Fun without Alcohol
When you are in a treatment center, life is safe there. There are no temptations to drink again, no parties or people urging you to take a drink. You feel a renewed sense of self, and you start to take pride in your ability to live without alcohol. But when you return from the facility, you are faced with your old life; the same life that held all of the temptations to indulge again. Your old friends may welcome you back and ask how you are doing but they may lack an understanding of what happened to you.
Well-meaning friends may try to encourage you to “get back to your old self” by just drinking occasionally. But, for the alcoholic, this is a one-way trip back to addiction. For an alcoholic to recover, you know what you must do. You have to avoid the substance that got you in this situation from now on. There are just no exceptions to this rule.
Sometimes this is a hard road to walk. It means separating from some friends who are alcoholics or binge drinkers who do not want to change. It may mean avoiding people that you once considered friends for the greater good. People may be offended by this behavior. But the recovering alcoholic understands that to recover fully, you must remove yourself from all of the factors that created your problem with alcohol and move forward without it.
Some recovering alcoholics find it a challenge to have a good time without drinking. That’s because you got into a pattern of behavior that always included alcohol. But now you have to adapt to your life without it. For many people, this is a challenge. But when you realize that alcohol was only a crutch, you will rediscover yourself and know that you do not need alcohol to have fun. That comes from the joy of knowing freedom and nurturing your relationships and goals.
Tips to Changing Your Lifestyle During Recovery
It is important to note that your recovery is not complete when you leave the treatment center or facility that helped you to beat your addiction. The hardest part is getting your life back together without the crutch of your alcohol addiction. You will feel a sense of freedom when you know that you are no longer physically dependent on it. But there may remain a possible mental dependency for a long time. You may not notice it when things are going well. But when stresses hit you from work or family matters, that is the real test.
It’s important that you have some coping skills that you can rely on when you experience this temptation and challenge. The following are some tips that you can refer to when you feel a temptation to go back to your old life of dependency.
- Be firm in your resolve to stay on the path to healing. Remember that you have come a long way to move past your addiction. You must have your mind set on the newly found health you have found and determined to let nothing stand in the way of your recovery.
- Remember that a real friend will support your recovery. The psychology of healing from an addiction involves reevaluating your relationships and discarding those that create a negative influence. This situation may mean avoiding certain locations such as a bar or party that includes alcoholic beverages or in some cases, separating from those old friends altogether.
- Look for positive interventions. Once you are back to your life again on your own, you must always look for positive factors that can help you on your road to recovery. This action includes people, situations, and things. Treat yourself to something you enjoy like fishing or shopping, avoiding alcohol in all cases. Learn that you can live life more completely without the thing that brought you pain and misery.
- Embrace health and life. There are many opportunities that you could not pursue as an alcoholic. Now that you are on the road to recovery, there is no limit to what you may be able to do. Take up a new hobby. Join a gym. Make some new friends. Live, laugh and love.
- Remember that you are still recovering from now on. One mistake that many recovering alcoholics make is that they think they can now drink socially “once in awhile” without unfortunate effects. This idea is a big mistake. Understanding that you will always be an alcoholic is one of the most important realizations that you must face to heal.
- Finally, if you are tempted to drink, remember the life that you had as an alcoholic. You don’t ever want to go back there again. You have learned the hard lessons that alcohol addiction taught you. You’re a new person now, filled with energy and zest for life. Break away from anything that might hold you back from your new life and resist the temptation to let that monster back into your life again.
Feel the Power of Freedom
Remember that you now have the power over your life. You get to choose what you do, who your friends are, and what you can achieve. Alcohol tried to drag you down, but you won the battle. You will never let it defeat you again. Now that you have gotten rid of the factors that held you back, there’s no telling what you can do!