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There are a lot of factors at play for someone in recovery from addiction to drugs or alcohol. It can be incredibly difficult to try to regain a semblance of control in one’s life when you are simultaneously going through intense periods of change and uncertainty. For someone in recovery from addiction, the idea that they can take back control of their lives is very appealing, but also a very tall order that involves a dizzying amount of different aspects. Taking control can mean addressing all of someone’s own personal goals inside and outside of recovery, reestablishing their relationships and trust in their families and friends, as well as setting and enacting a plan to reengage in one’s professional sphere in a fulfilling way. Any of these tasks is a journey, so the idea of taking control can seem extraordinarily difficult. That doesn’t mean it is impossible; rather, it is a task that needs to be done in steps as someone begins to grasp control over their daily lives, as well as their futures. 

Start Small

Taking control of one’s life doesn’t start by addressing everything at once, or trying to tackle one’s grand goals in life immediately. Before someone can begin to dictate their future, they have to first begin to take control of their present. This involves someone getting a firm grasp of their day-to-day routines, as well as being able to understand and implement essential grounding strategies and coping mechanisms. Before someone can try to take control of their entire future, it is important to practice breathing techniques, grounding strategies, self-care, and establishing therapeutic routines that can help someone in the present. 

Identifying the elements that someone can control in their own, immediate environment can set the groundwork for them to be able to further control their lives, going forward. While someone may experience immense levels of anxiety during their recovery from addiction, there are always elements that someone can or cannot control in the moment. For example, someone experiencing strong urges or stressors at a party may not be able to shut the party down, but they can decide to leave the party. While someone may not reasonably be able to create a world where drugs or alcohol aren’t referenced in music, they can create their own playlists that avoid the songs in which references to their past use are prevalent. 

Starting small also means that someone recognizes the steps that must be taken towards certain goals. While it is unreasonable to assume that someone will be made CEO of a company within a year, someone can instead create a reasonable timeline that begins with getting a consistent position within a company where one is interested in climbing higher. 


Regaining a sense of control over the various aspects of someone’s life can be daunting, so it is important that someone appropriately prepare for the changes that they want to make in their lives. For some, this can mean creating a reasonable timeline for professional advancement or may involve someone actively trying to adjust their mental state and practice their interpersonal and life skills on a regular basis to help them achieve personal goals. These goals can include things such as becoming a regular and accepted member of a community or club or reestablishing relationships with family and loved ones. Preparing for success and change also means visualizing the various ways that these changes may affect you in your daily life, and listing the positives that are waiting as a result of your hard work. Acknowledging your starting point, as well as knowing where you want to go and outlining the steps to connect the two can give you the proper sense of scope, structure, organization, and control to create and implement a successful plan for taking the reigns on your future.

Maintenance and Advancement

With many different aspects always at play, it can be tempting to try to take them all on at once. However, this can have some negative effects, and hinder one’s sense of control as a whole. Rather, it is important to outline and progress on single, focused elements rather than trying to control every aspect at once. It is okay to practice maintaining oneself each step of the way, and practicing such habits is important in retaining the feeling of control that you need. As a person makes progress to the next step in their recovery, their relationships, or professional ambitions, it is important to see how these changes then affect someone’s everyday life. As you re-establish a relationship, take a breath, and see how this new relationship affects your daily routines and mental state. The same practice is essential for professional development. There are many goals that someone can set for themselves in recovery from addiction, as well as in taking back control of their lives, but there isn’t a need to rush to accomplish everything. Rather, each person must continue to monitor their daily lives and focus on the elements that they can control in any given situation before continuing to introduce even more changes into an already volatile transition period. 


Taking back control of your life during addiction to drugs or alcohol is a difficult task, and there are many things that you have to consider. The professionals at Lighthouse Recovery, located in Dallas, Texas, can help you understand the roots of the issue while addressing key life skills and coping mechanisms that are catered to you and your needs. There are a variety of programs available, from sober living to a comprehensive outpatient recovery system, all in place to help you or your loved one realize the various steps they can take to regain agency over their daily lives and their future. Regaining control can be accomplished one step at a time, and Lighthouse can help you take that all-important first step towards your own goals and agency. Learn more about our services or contact us below to discover how Lighthouse can help you on your road to recovery today. Thank you for your trust.