A man triumphantly walks up stairs holding his hands to the sky - How To Rebuild Your Life & Find Purpose After Addiction

Substance abuse and addiction are insidious. What begins as a thrill, escape, or even self-care can grow and twist over time until you realize that you’ve lost control.

The addiction treatment and recovery process is designed to help you face this harsh reality and work through it, building a fresh start and a healthier and more positive lifestyle.

A major part of this process involves finding your purpose and your passion for sobriety, and for your life as a whole.

The Importance Of Purpose

Purpose means different things to different people at different times. However, cultivating a strong sense of purpose (sometimes called a higher power in 12 step programs) can provide significant benefits while in recovery and beyond.

Purpose can:

  • help you rise above your most basic survival needs
  • give you a reason to push through negative thoughts, feelings, or cravings
  • reduce feelings of depression or anxiety
  • empower you to make decisions and work towards your own goals
  • provide structure and direction to your daily life and routine

In the same way, going through life without purpose can cause a sense of loneliness, emptiness, and anxiety.

These feelings too can lead to unhealthy distractions or self-medicating, with many experts suggesting that alcohol and drug use may itself be a kind of search for purpose, if a hollow one.

Examples Of Purpose

Your purpose must be your own, it’s not something someone else can force on you. But there are some common purposes and higher powers people often turn to during their recovery journeys:

  • love, working to be a better man or woman for their loved ones
  • faith, serving an all-knowing and loving power who will guide you through life
  • beauty, drinking deeply of art, music, and nature
  • service, being an asset or empowering others
  • achievement, using your talent and energy to accomplish, make, or build things
  • progress, working with others to tackle big or small issues in the world
  • joy, living life to the fullest and making the most of each day

When choosing a purpose remember that altruism (having concern for and working to serve others) is known to be far more fulfilling than working only for oneself. In fact, serving others is one of the most beneficial things a person in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction can do.

Rebuilding Your Life

With your purpose in mind it’s time to take achievable and consistent steps to improve your life and support your long term recovery. Some of the best things you should include in this process are to:

Talk With Someone

Addiction is isolating and it’s easy to feel like no one would understand what you are going through or that you aren’t worth another person’s time or energy.

But these feelings should not stop you from sharing with the right people at the right time.

By being open with your loved ones, getting professional help through therapy sessions, and participating in peer support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, you can get your feelings, doubts, and worries out in the open and deal with them in a healthy, productive way.

Prioritize Family

Your relationships with close family members are extremely important, and may have been damaged by alcohol or drug abuse. Family therapy and other intentional relationship-building can help you repair your communication and intimacy.

Make Sober Friends

A sober life shouldn’t be boring. Striking up new, healthy relationships with sober people and rebuilding relationships with old friends without drugs or alcohol is a great way to fill your empty time, expand your support system, and cultivate your mental and physical health.

Practice Self-Care

It can take time to heal from the effects of long-term substance abuse. So, support your well-being with a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, adequate sleep, good nutrition, and regular healthcare checkups and dentist appointments.

You should also make sure you get enough time alone and with others, find a safe and comfortable place to live, and work to resolve sources of stress and worry in your life.

Find New Hobbies

Cooking, painting, music, writing, wood working, dancing, mountain biking… There are countless drug-free activities you can invest in as part of your new life. And all of them are just waiting for you to explore and enjoy.

These hobbies can help you set goals, meet new people, improve your health, divert your energy, and simply enjoy your time in new and meaningful ways.

Know Your Limits

Healthy boundaries are key to life after rehab and can help you guard your energy, avoid stress and other triggers, and focus on your progress. Don’t be afraid to speak up and be your own advocate.

Northeast Addictions Treatment Center

Substance abuse treatment programs can help you develop a long-term, realistic treatment plan that gives you the tools, support, and structure you need to recover.

At Northeast Addictions, we provide evidence-based outpatient services for all forms of substance use disorder and co-occurring mental health issues. Contact us today to learn more about our treatment facility and services.    

People Also Read:


Written by
Northeast Addition Editorial Team

Published on

©2024 Northeast Addition Center | All Rights Reserved

This page does not provide medical advice.