addiction recovery

What Does Addiction Recovery Look Like After One Year?

addiction recovery

Have you found yourself in the grip of drugs and alcohol and decided to stop? You knew it was going to be difficult, even painful, and you may not have seen a way out. However, you are now a year in addiction recovery, and look how far you’ve come.

There were moments when you thought you wouldn’t make it. Especially going through the discomfort of detox and talking about your problems in therapy. However, with the support of medical staff, friends and family, you have turned your life around. By choosing rehab, and continued abstinence, you have seen the light at the end of the tunnel.

So, you have completed rehab and returned to your normal life. What has altered in 12 months of recovery? After all, you did not expect to be the same person you were when you first started treatment. Many aspects of your life may have changed since you stopped using drugs or alcohol, but you will be amazed at how far you have come in a year. You may have observed a dramatic change in various areas, be they emotionally, psychologically or even spiritually.

Physical health

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One of the most recognisable advances in a person’s condition is their physical health. If you had been struggling with drug or alcohol addiction over a long time, it could take a visible toll on your body in the course of your dependency. The intensity and severity of the side effects may depend on the type of substances you have taken and for how long.

Some may not be aware that, along with the symptoms usually associated with addiction, you may also suffer supplementary side effects you may not expect. It is widely known people going through addiction may generally experience symptoms like nausea, perspiration, tremors, anxiety or depression. You may also have trouble sleeping and suffer memory loss, amongst other side effects.

If you have fallen victim to dependency, you may observe a drop in personal standards, where you may be no longer interested in taking care of yourself or what you look like. You may go days, or even weeks, without washing and suffer poor oral hygiene. A lack of concern in your appearance, as well as your responsibilities, be it to your family, household or work is a customary sign of continual dependency. It is also not uncommon to go through a decline, which may not have gone unnoticed amongst your family and friends.

If you have successfully managed addiction recovery for over a year the improvement in your physical health, and dealing with any secondary symptoms, can be evident for all to see.   For instance, people may notice your weight fluctuating. If you have been taking addictive substances like drugs and alcohol, it can cause you to put on weight, as drinking too much can increase your calorie intake, to begin with. However, on the other hand, it is not unheard off for drug or alcohol addiction to cause you to lose weight, as it can affect your eating habits. Some people with a drinking habit may no longer watch what they eat; in some cases, may even neglect to eat altogether. If you have been consuming alcohol, how many times have you fallen asleep at night without having dinner? If you are consistently skipping meals or forgetting to eat, it could see you losing weight, possibly affecting your health. This can be turned around, and you could establish proper eating habits by abstaining from alcohol and choosing a balanced diet. If you continue enjoying healthy eating and no longer consume drugs or alcohol to excess, you may attain your proper weight and notice the beneficial results of your lifestyle inside a year.

Mental Health in addiction recovery

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It is widely understood having an addiction can lead to psychological as well as physical side effects. If you are struggling day to day with dependency, you may be subject to several mental health issues which may have consumed your life. Many people take drugs or consume alcohol in order to escape their troubles or deal with any issues they may have, be they work, family or relationship issues. However, it is no secret using drugs or consuming alcohol to excess can intensify feelings of anxiety and depression, where ironically you may drink to try and feel better, but it can make you feel worse. If you take mind-altering substances and over imbibe, it can have a profound effect on your mental state, leading in many cases to lethargy, isolation, bad decision making, poor concentration and even suicidal tendencies.

However, if you have kept up with your addiction recovery and continued choosing abstinence over the past year, you may have noticed your mood and disposition has improved. You may have a better outlook on life, and you may have lesser suicidal thoughts. If you stop drinking alcohol or taking drugs, it will enhance your concentration, and you could think more clearly, putting aside depressive, negative thoughts which may have blighted your life when you were using.

Social health

Another common after-effect of addiction is for your social life to suffer. You can feel more and more shut off from those closest to you, friends and family, who may have noted a change in your personality. You may have become irritable, short-tempered and agitated, as well as displaying other anti-social characteristics while in the throes of alcoholism and drug abuse., which may have impacted your personal relationships. It may have cost you friends or caused estrangement with your partners or family members. If you have continued your recovery for a period of 12 months, you may see a dramatic advance in your personal relationships. You may start being more socially active and enjoying other people’s company. If you have been abstinent for over 12 months, you will have become accustomed to not imbibing alcohol or drugs on a regular basis and may not be so aggressive and argumentative. You may be ready to build healthier relationships and be more open about your feelings. Many people who have successfully continued recovery are not so closed off and are ready to discuss their emotions, which can only be of benefit to their mental and emotional health.

This can help you move on with your life.  It can be hard for people going through addition to hold down a job or manage their finances. There are also instances of addicts stealing or borrowing money to pay for their habit. One of the first acts of a recovering addict who has attended a 12-step programme is to apologise and try to make amends for what they may have done or who they might have hurt. If you manage to rebuild those bridges, it can give you a sense of inner peace.

Spiritual health in addiction recovery

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If you have stopped abusing drugs or alcohol for over a year, it has also been known to help you spiritually. You may have felt lost or alone in the past and lost faith. However, it is not unheard off for people who have battled their addictions to see a to re-establish a belief in a higher power, which can be a great source of comfort for millions of people around the world.

They say the first year is the hardest part for someone overcoming addiction. It is the period with the greatest chance of relapse. However, if you have faced your demons, battled your dependency and survived for 12 months, you have taken a great step forward.

Addiction recovery is an ongoing process, and if you have made it through the first 12 months, you have completed a major milestone where you are certain to have seen your life change for the better.

Contact Detox Plus UK for free help & advice 02072052734