Treatment and sobriety don’t end when rehab does. Maintaining your sobriety will have to be worked towards for the rest of your life. Addiction is a chronic disease, meaning you may be at risk of relapsing in the future. This is why your life after rehab must be conducive to your sobriety. However, you may not know what to expect in your life after rehab and thus may have some anxiety. Fear not, because life after rehab will open you up to a new lifestyle, new friends, and new opportunities.
Before leaving treatment, you should sit down with your therapist or treatment team to help you develop a relapse prevention plan to use in the future. A relapse prevention plan is a physical document that should include a list of your triggers, what drove you to substance abuse in the past, warning signs of an impending relapse, phone numbers of reliable individuals, and coping mechanisms to deal with cravings or triggers at the moment. This plan will change over time as your life does, but it should serve as a basis for looking out for and how to cope with a potential relapse after treatment.
Sober Living Homes
Many individuals leaving rehab decide that they aren’t ready to go back to daily life, which’s okay. A great way to transition back into your everyday life is by going to a sober living home. Sober livings allow more freedom than rehab facilities, but they are still structured in a way that you can earn responsibilities needed for life outside of rehab. This way, you can be even more prepared for life outside of treatment.
In rehab, you probably grew accustomed to being on a structured daily schedule that included time for sleep, nutritious meals, exercise, therapy, group therapy, volunteer work or commitments, sober activities, and time with your sponsor. Translating this into daily life can be challenging, but it is necessary for recovery. Once you return home, you should sit down and plan what your daily routine will look like, ensuring that it includes all of the necessary things needed for long term sobriety. This will help prevent relapse and keep you progressing in your recovery.
Aftercare is critical to long term sobriety because it keeps you working on your coping methods and identifying potential problem areas in your life. Your therapist can help you manage your daily life and help you monitor if it is suitable for your recovery. It also holds you accountable – it can be easy to get overly confident in recovery and stop going to aftercare appointments. Not going can often lead to relapse as the person stops engaging in necessary actions to maintain their sobriety. Going to another person that can check-in and help you with your sobriety will keep you on track and moving forward in your recovery.
Many individuals that have gotten sober still attend support group meetings years after they initially went to rehab. This is because support groups offer a safe space to talk about your addiction, make sober friends, and hold you accountable in your recovery. You will be able to bond with others and empathize based on your own experiences. Being surrounded by individuals who have been through the same thing you have can keep you in a healthy mental state towards recovery. You are constantly reminded of the benefits sobriety has brought you.
A New Social Life
Most likely, your social life will not look the same after rehab. You won’t be hanging around the same people that you used to use with, or in the same places. Making these changes can be challenging, but over time you will see how being with sober people and participating in sober activities is vital to your sobriety. Finding sober hobbies that you enjoy can be fun as you try new things and make new friends. Consider different ones such as dance lessons, volunteering, playing a sport, going bowling, learning something new, going back to school, or going to the movies. Whatever you find enjoyable and is conducive to your recovery is an excellent activity to hold onto in your new daily life.
Work and School
Now that you are back home and learning to adjust to daily life, you will probably find yourself returning to work or going back to school. This can be daunting, as you don’t know if you will cope with the stresses both may have for you. Preparing to go back by sitting down and coming up with coping strategies will help alleviate some of this anxiety. Remember not to take on too many responsibilities as you are going back, and talk with your employer or teachers to understand your situation. This way, you are better prepared for anything that comes your way.
Leaving rehab is an enormous accomplishment because you have completed a program that has saved your life. You did the work and have found yourself in a new life of sobriety. However, even with the excitement of getting to leave rehab, you may be feeling anxious about what your new life will hold. Knowing what to expect can alleviate some of this anxiety. LIfe after rehab typically involves aftercare appointments, support groups, a structured daily routine, relapse prevention, and rebuilding a new social life centered around your sobriety. To ease the transition, you may consider going to a sober living home to give you more freedom but not completely leave you on your own just yet. You also may be returning to work or school, in which case you should be sure to take it easy and have coping methods to help with any potential stress. At Everlast Recovery Centers, we want our alumni to have the best chance at maintaining their sobriety after leaving our facility. For help adjusting to life after rehab, call us today at 866-DETOX-25