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Healing From Substance Abuse Disorder

Victory Bay

If you are on the other side of substance abuse disorder, you may not know where to go next. No matter what anyone says or what you may think, there is life after substance abuse. 

Recovering from substance abuse disorder is nothing to be ashamed of, as this is a huge accomplishment you have made. Now that you have overcome the first and most significant hurdle, next begins the process of rebuilding your life and finding a new normal. 

In this article, we will be discussing the next steps you need to take as you are healing from substance abuse disorder. 

Forgiving Yourself 

When you are in the process of healing after substance abuse, dealing with feelings of shame, guilt, and low self-esteem is very common. Most people who have dealt with any kind of addiction will have to face these emotions, so you should take comfort in knowing that you aren’t alone. 

Even though some negative feelings can be beneficial, it is not healthy to continue to feel this way as you are making progress. What happened happened, and there is no way you can go back and change the past. The only thing you can change is your present and the future, so that is what you need to focus on.


Try to take steps to limit any negative feelings you dwell on as well as negative talk. Try utilizing habits like positive affirmations or journaling to work through your emotions so that you aren’t dwelling on them all the time. You could also start to go to therapy, where you can talk about your feelings with a trained expert. 

Repairing Broken Relationships 

Anyone who has gone through addiction has most likely hurt people along the way. When you are battling substance abuse disorder, you are not usually behaving like yourself, and you may have cut people off or burnt some bridges. 

Going back and repairing those broken relationships is a big part of healing from substance abuse disorder. Not only is it important to make things right with the people you hurt along the way, it is beneficial for you as well. This will help to clear your conscience and allow you to move forward without that weight on your shoulders. 

It can be helpful to make a list of the people you want to reach out to and apologize to. Try to keep your apologies straightforward and honest without trying to make excuses or brush off your behavior.  

Prepare yourself for instances where people may not want to accept your apology or may not want to be part of your life. This is their right, and all you can do is try your best to make amends and move forward. 

Create Healthy Boundaries 

Another critical step after recovering from substance abuse disorder is learning how to create boundaries in your life. Boundaries are incredibly beneficial for everyone, especially people who are recovering from addiction. 

You need to have boundaries in place that keep you out of situations that may be triggering or detrimental to your progress. You also need to have boundaries with people so that you do not let bad influences back into your life. 

Some examples of healthy boundaries include not going out into situations where there may be alcohol, such as bars or certain types of parties. You need to make this boundary clear to people in your life so that they know that this is something that you aren’t willing to engage in. 

Or you may have to create boundaries where you do not spend time with people who are actively using substances. 

Learn to Open Up 

Addiction is a very lonely experience, even though it is something that so many people struggle with. People who battle addiction often retreat into themselves and cut off those closest to them to avoid feeling judged. Because of this, you will have to relearn how to open up to people and allow them back into your life during recovery. 

Try to cultivate a small group of people who are closest to you that you know you can trust. Practice open communication with them until it becomes more natural and you are able to be vulnerable with more people. 

Attending therapy is a great way of learning how to open up and communicate with others. A therapist who specializes in addiction can also help you navigate this process and avoid opening up to the wrong people. 

Creating New Healthy Habits 

Substance abuse disorder is something that becomes all-consuming as it destroys many aspects of your life. When you are healing from this disorder, you have to rebuild your life from the ground up and reestablish healthy habits. 

Healthy habits are often the backbone of rebuilding your life into something that will help you feel joyful and content. It is also about reclaiming your health since this is often something that falls by the wayside during addiction. 

Some examples of establishing healthy habits include: 

  • Eating healthy 
  • Exercising regularly 
  • Volunteering in the community 
  • Spending time with friends and family 
  • Learning new skills and hobbies 
  • Adopt a pet 

If you do not know where to start when it comes to creating healthy habits, you should set aside some time to create a plan. Think about what you want your life to look like and the things that matter the most to you. 

Do you want to feel better in your body? If so, you may want to start eating a clean diet and join your local gym. Are you looking for fulfillment in your life that goes beyond yourself? In this case, you may want to look into volunteering opportunities in your local community. 

Continuing Treatment 

Possibly, the most vital aspect of healing from substance abuse disorder is continuing your treatment. There is really no end when it comes to addiction recovery since this is an ongoing process you have to always stay on top of. Addiction can easily creep back up in your life, so you need to take steps to prevent this and strengthen your resolve. 

One way to do this is to find ways to continue your treatment long-term. You can do this by attending 12-step support groups, which allow you to connect with others who are going through the same things. Group counseling can also be helpful if you want to connect with others who are healing from addiction.


Other options include connecting with sober networks in your area so that you can cultivate a group of like-minded individuals. You should also take advantage of individual counseling to help you work through personal issues. 

Cultivating a Fulfilling Life 

It can be hard to envision what life after substance abuse disorder looks like, especially if you are in the early stages of your recovery. The reality is that you can still have a wonderfully fulfilling life, no matter what your past looks like. 

One goal you need to have is to create a fulfilling life that leaves absolutely no room for addiction. This may look like opening yourself up to finding a love connection. Or you may be more interested in pursuing a career that you are passionate about. 

No matter what your goals are, you should take some time to contemplate what a fulfilling life looks like to you. Create realistic and actionable steps that will help you get to that vision so that you know exactly what path to take. For some people, creating milestones can be helpful in encouraging and motivating them. 

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Recovery with Victory Bay

At Victory Bay we’re here to help you achieve a new life with a new start in recovery. To learn more about the variety of treatment programs we offer, including mental health, eating disorders, and substance use, contact us today by calling 855.239.5099.