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When I was in drug rehab, all I had to do was focus on my recovery but now that I am out, it’s hard to make good choices and live a balanced and sober life…

For the recovering alcoholic or addict, learning to find balance can be particularly challenging. Leading a balanced life means avoiding extreme highs or lows. It also means paying attention to tendencies that many addicts have to focus or obsess too much on one activity, such as exercise or work. When the scales are tipped too far in one direction, it can trigger the urge to turn to mind-altering substances.

When you actively abused drugs or alcohol, you made a habit of numbing negative feelings. You went out of your way to avoid feeling anything that was unpleasant or uncomfortable. You revolved your life around substances that helped you to try to prevent ever feeling bad. Now that you’re sober, you’re not quite sure what to do. You can’t always avoid painful feelings, and you can’t intensify or exaggerate good feelings. Your emotions may seem to consume you at times, or it might seem like you don’t feel much of anything at all.

Running from feelings is what you’re used to, and since you know you can’t pick up a substance, you may try to run from your feelings in other ways. It’s not uncommon for a recovering addict to turn to overeating or gambling or relationship addiction. You may sleep too much or you might become obsessive about a hobby, such as working out. People turn to various forms of compulsive behavior when they don’t want to live in reality. As a recovering addict, you may tend to approach pretty much everything addictively. Some people miss the extreme highs and lows of active addiction. If you’re like many others in recovery, when you get sober, life seems … well, boring. Once you get through the initial rollercoaster ride of newly felt emotions, you may find yourself thinking, “is this all there is?”

The big question is…What does life balance really mean? What would a balanced life look like to us?
The key is not to try to change everything at once, but to make small adjustments over time to determine what works for you.

Here are some things that are important to keep in mind as you strive for balance:

• Ask for help
• Keep it simple
• Be responsible
• Keep striving for progress, not perfection
• Be honest
• Pay attention to your health
• Spend time alone
• Have fun!
• Build healthy, sober relationships
• Say no to everything that is not essential or does not add something of value to your life
• Eliminate or minimize the negative influences around you.

Maintaining a healthy life balance is not only essential for happiness and well-being; it can be a tremendous boost to your productivity and career or business success as well. A well-balanced person has a far greater ability to focus their attention and energy on attaining their goals, taking productive actions and moving forward in a meaningful way.

To learn more about addiction recovery and living a balanced sober life, please contact Illuminate Recovery at 844-700-9888.

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