Addiction: Can You Really Create a New You?

New Year, New You: Putting Your Addiction Behind You

You may have been derailed, but now you’re in the process of getting your life back on track. It’s time to break out of your comfort zone and live the life you’ve always dreamed of. Here are a few ideas to make those dreams a reality while continuing to enjoy recovery and sobriety.

Take a trip. Recovery is the perfect time to enjoy life. Not only will you meet new people and see new things, you’ll gain a fresh perspective on the world. When you’re in the middle of your addiction, you lose sight of everything except your next fix. Traveling gives you something exciting to prepare for and will help you discover things about yourself you’ve never known. Recovering addict Carl Towns explains in this inspiring post how travel has helped him remain sober.

Get a dog. The reasons to get a dog in your recovery are almost endless, but for now, we’ll stick to the basics. Having a dog will give you a new sense of responsibility, something which you may have robbed yourself of when using. Dogs also provide unconditional love, another aspect of your life that you may have missed. Having a four-legged friend around encourages physical activity and can even be a great way to meet new people—people who will become positive influences on your life. Another notable benefit of having pets is that being with these creatures alleviates stress and anxiety and can stave off depression. Even if you’re unable to have your own dog, you can consider dog walking and even make a little money while enjoying some canine companionship.

Start your own business. Starting your own business gives you something to look forward to each day. It puts you in control of your own financial fate and holds you accountable for how you choose to spend your time and money. You might, for example, start with a pet-sitting or dog-walking service. As you struggle with regaining trust from others and yourself, this is a great way to lead into your new role as an active member of society. Additionally, starting your own business gives you an opportunity to pursue your passions, become a mentor, and create stability for yourself and your family, according to Entrepreneur.

Expand your social network. When you were using, you may have kept company that encouraged, or at the very least didn’t discourage, your bad behavior. Now that you’ve regained clarity, it’s time to expand your social network to include people who will build you up instead of bring you down. As a former user, you may find it easier to connect with new friends who don’t have any preconceived notions about you based on past actions. Networking isn’t only good for your personal life. Expanding your social circle is a great way to positively influence your business.

Face your fears. Often, we use drugs and alcohol as a way to hide from the things that scare us the most. Now that you’ve climbed out of that hole, it’s time to face your fears head on and with a clear mind and strong body. No matter what you’re afraid of, take it one step at a time. If you’re afraid of being alone, for example, spend the night away from home. Once you learn to control your reaction to fear triggers, they will no longer control you.

Living with addiction feels like being trapped in a bubble. Now that yours has been popped, don’t force yourself into another invisible prison by being too scared or ashamed to accomplish your goals. You’ve already done the hardest part by stepping above your vices. The key is to stay in motion and never lose sight of your end goals, no matter what they may be. Your life from today forward is a blank canvas; only you can paint it.

This post was guest written by Adam Cook of

Image via Pixabay


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About Valentino Therapy

Psychotherapist (California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist), artist, animal lover, SF Giants fan...I write mostly about daily life and psychology matters, concerns and disorders and how to get help or help yourself. I write about life and often laugh at it but I also write about very serious matters that affect our lives. I'm a psychotherapist (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist) with a speciality in addiction, anxiety, depression, achievement, relationships and several other areas, which is work I particularly enjoy but the nature of it requires that I also enjoy other creative and physical pursuits. Personal: I love animals beyond a reasonable measure (reptiles excluded).
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