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Is it possible to regain normal life after alcohol abuse? If so, how?

Sep 27, 2022

Alcohol abuse changes nearly every aspect of one’s life. It warps relationships, spoils health, and stalls ambitions, sometimes irreparably. So what does life look like during recovery? We asked substance abuse experts to give us their take on living life after dealing with alcohol abuse. Read on to see what they had to say.

Jenna Jarrold

Jenna Jarrold

Jenna Jarrold, our Licensed Mental Health Therapist at Drug Helpline.

Devote Time and Effort to the Recovery Process

It is possible to regain a normal life after struggling with alcohol abuse. Of course, it is a process that takes time and effort. The first step on the road to recovery is acknowledging the presence of the problem.

Next, seeking treatment/professional help is essential. Yet, not all treatment is the “right fit” for everyone. There are many approaches to treating alcohol abuse, including individual therapy, intensive outpatient programs (IOPs), residential treatment, group therapy, support groups, and/or seeking psychiatric support via medication. Regardless of the treatment sought, it is vital to be committed to the process and continue to be open and honest with yourself and your therapist.

Also essential to overcoming alcohol abuse is a strong support system of friends and/or family. Support people can provide encouragement and accountability to help you stay on track. Additionally, it can be helpful to engage in an activity or hobby that you enjoy, as this can help you stay motivated to remain sober.

Lastly, one must not ignore the importance of the physical aspect of recovery. Focusing on your physical health might mean shifting your diet, engaging in exercise, and improving your sleep hygiene. Improved physical health directly impacts mental health, which can make it easier to stay sober. Recovery can be a long and difficult process. If you take things one day at a time and ask for help and support when you need it, it is possible to achieve sustained sobriety and overall well-being.

Commit to Recovery

Living a full, healthy life after alcohol abuse is possible. This looks like committing fully to recovery. Recovery looks different for everyone, and everyone’s idea of “normal” will also look different. It is important to keep in mind that “normal” does not mean a life that looks like the one that existed either before or during alcohol abuse. It is a life that feels sustainable and satisfying in the present.

Finding this can start with seeking a recovery method/program that works for you, engaging in therapy, engaging in self-care, and addressing any physical health issues that have arisen due to alcohol abuse.

Kassondra Glenn

Kassondra Glenn

Kassondra Glenn, LMSW, is a contributor at Prosperity Haven.

Jordyn Mastrodomenico

Jordyn Mastrodomenico

Jordyn Mastrodomenico, Clinical Director at ChoicePoint.

Three Ways to Regain Normal Life After Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol abuse may be a curse, but not one without treatment. It is quite possible to live a normal life even after alcohol abuse as long as you seek treatment for your problem. Roughly 75% of alcohol abusers get to live a normal life, and here is how they achieve it;

1. Seek alcohol addiction treatment and be consistent
Taking one step towards treatment means that you are ready to leave behind your old bad habits and start a new sober life. It is very easy to fall prey to your cravings, so make sure that you stay consistent after your addiction treatment

2. Learn to say NO at parties
Alcohol is often the heart and soul of any party. But as a recovering addict one must try to distance themself from places and people (if it comes to that) who heavily indulge in drinking. A simple NO can save your life.

3. Focus your time and energy on something productive
Try to stay as busy as possible. Get a job or a hobby or just take online classes to gain or improve a skill. Keep your mind from lingering in a dark place that can lead you toward alcohol cravings.

Actively Build the Life You Want

Everyone struggling with alcohol abuse can regain a “normal” life. We’re surrounded by people in recovery every day. But, we don’t know it because their life is so normal.

The key is you have to actively build that normal life. Getting a job, even if it’s not your dream job, helps with stability. Adding in hobbies like a soccer league, morning yoga, or a book club occupies your time and mind in a healthy way. Developing real friendships with people that understand keeps you accountable. You can meet them in treatment, AA meetings, on sober apps, or just out living your life because, again, those in recovery are everywhere.

But, for some, it’s just as hard not to rush the process. Alcohol abuse doesn’t have to define you, but you do have to accept that it is a part of you. It’s also OK to live in a sober living house or go to therapy or meetings every day, even though those things aren’t necessarily “normal.” Getting that great job, house or spouse isn’t going to save you. You have to be kind to yourself and get the professional help you need. Prioritize your wellbeing over being “normal.”

Lea McMahon

Lea McMahon

Dr. Lea McMahon, VP of Clinic Excellence at Symetria Recovery.

Thomas J. Jameson

Thomas J. Jameson, C-MHC, Clinical Director of The Ohana Luxury Drug Rehab.

Participate in Long-Term Treatment

It is possible to regain a normal life after alcohol addiction. It’s very important to get treatment for alcohol addiction. Participating in treatment and relapse prevention can help a person regain a normal life after alcohol addiction. Relapse prevention is essential to help a person avoid things that can trigger a relapse. Treatment should continue after a person has left the rehab facility or detox. Addiction treatment is long-term. That is because addiction is a chronic disorder. Participating in long-term treatment is one of the best ways to regain a normal life after addiction.

This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors' statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.