Guest Post by Per Wickstrom.
After losing a decade of my life to drug abuse, it felt like things would never — could never — get back on track. It wasn’t easy and didn’t happen overnight, but before too long I found ways to put the pieces back together. Here are a few things that I learned are vital to turning your life around after hitting rock bottom.
First, establish your purpose in life. Seems obvious, doesn’t it? But figuring out your life goal isn’t always as easy as you’d think. It could be a professional goal like starting your own business and being your own boss, or a personal goal like putting your family first no matter what. If you run into trouble nailing it down, ask yourself this: how do you want people to describe you? What do you want to be remembered for? Once you’ve established your ultimate goal, plan a path that will get you there.
Act on what you’ve learned. It’s easy to have regrets about past mistakes, but the only way to truly move forward is to learn from them. It’s not just about the mistake itself, but why it happened in the first place. Did you have a knee-jerk reaction to an upsetting situation? Did you leap before you looked? Did you turn down a good thing for fear of possibly losing it in the end? Fully understanding your mistakes is an important part of reducing the risk of repeating them.
Do something that makes you happy every day. Yes, every single day. The fact is, rebuilding requires a lot of sacrifice and grunt work. You might have to stick it out in a job you’re overqualified for, or accept that your family is learning to trust you again. By giving yourself something to look forward to every day, you’re easing some of the stress and creating stability when it matters most. It can be as simple as watching your favorite talk show every morning before work, going for a mid-afternoon walk through the park on your lunch break, or even taking a half hour to simply sit and relax with some good tunes. Commit to giving yourself a little dose of happy each day and soon you might even start finding joy in your more tedious responsibilities.
Want to do something? Do it. Now. We always tell ourselves we’ll take that cooking class someday, we’ll visit that museum in a couple weeks, we’ll join the company softball team next season when life is less chaotic. There’s always going to be an excuse to avoid trying something new, so stop putting it off and just go for it. Best case scenario, you’ll find a new passion and meet some awesome new people. Worst case scenario, you’ll lose a few hours of your life — but you’ll likely be glad for the experience anyway.
Surround yourself with the right kind of people. A strong support system is important for everyone, but especially for those of us looking to get back on track. Spend time with loved ones who make you laugh, share your values, and encourage you to chase your dreams. Prioritize friends who stick by you during the bad times and celebrate with you in the good times. Life’s too short for anything less.
Bouncing back after a tough fall is a lot of work, but the reward is worth the challenge. And I promise you this: if I can do it, so can you!
Per Wickstrom is the CEO of Best Drug Rehabilitation. After a long battle with drug addiction, he decided to devote his life to helping others find life-affirming success through natural and holistic methods. He believes it’s never too late to turn your life around, and works to motivate others through his rehabilitation facilities and his website, PerWickstrom.com. Catch up with him via Facebook and Twitter.