Yes this will be a life long thing. That is why we stress aftercare like we do. We have to deal with those demons. Using is only a symptom of what is going on with us. I also stay in the now as that is all we have. I stopped setting long term goals as that was to overwhelming. I focus on the journey, not the destination. Changing your playmates and playground is also a must. I am and always will be a work in progress and that is okay. There is always a reason that drives that addictive personality and recovery has changed my life as i am able to identify where that comes from.
As dominosarah said above.....aftercare!!!! Aftercare is how I've been able to learn new coping mechanisms of which obviously, I missed somewhere along the way. The 12 steps that I choose to work actually work with WAY more than just my drug addiction. They work with my COMPLETE OBSESSION WITH NEEDING TO BE ABLE TO CONTROL!!! Drugs were not really my problem....I was my problem. On January 1st, 2020 I will be celebrating 6 years being clean. I see many people come into recovery and stick around for 90 days, 6 months, maybe even a year. Good things start to happen....we make amends with our families, we become employable, we slowly get out of debt. Then, they think they've got it....it's been a year, haven't used, so we're good. EVERY SINGLE ONE that I've seen leave have come back. I have decided NOT to leave....why would I want to? I made the decision pretty early on that recovery was where I needed to be. For me, I'm an all around, grade A addict......my DOC was more. To ensure I don't ever have to use again (anything), I chose recovery.
I don't have much to add to what Sarah or Motye said, other than just to emphasize that it may very well be a lifelong thing we need to keep working on, but that doesn't mean there aren't also great joys to be had in life. When I started really studying addiction in school, part of me struggled to accept that I would need to work on it my whole life. However, I've found that it's okay to accept that fact and that we can still have happy lives in spite of it. Basically, there's definitely room for hope that our lives can be good. It often does require aftercare. I didn't have the kind of aftercare I needed because I got a bit confident in my sobriety, so I slipped. I've gotten my systems back in place and am back on track, feeling pretty good. Aftercare is indeed important, often even when we feel like we've gotten past the need for it. :)