During rehab, you’ve probably learned so many valuable life lessons. You’ve talked, went through counseling, accepted advice and discovered the reasons behind your problems and behaviors. Now it’s time to leave this safe place and get back to the real world. It’s overwhelming, we understand. But it will be very rewarding once you start taking control over your addiction without depending on anyone.
Learn more: Relapse Prevention – Therapy and Strategies
The list of advice on life after rehab is countless. Many of those tips are great and have helped many people recover. But those tips can’t guarantee you won’t relapse. None of them. Therefore, you need to be sure of yourself that a drug-free life is the life you want to live. You also need to remember why you’re doing all of this. You need to know what works and what doesn’t. If your friends don’t take your recovery seriously, end the friendship. If hanging out at that same old places triggers your alcoholism, stop going there. You need to know what can you expect from life after rehab and what will help you achieve it. This is the time to reconsider everything you know and everything you’ve learned. Use that knowledge to your advantage.
But first, let us congratulate you on your sobriety. Keep it that way. And always remember, nasty things are going to happen. But how you cope with them is what makes or breaks the vicious cycle of addiction. Stay positive and focus on coping techniques. Your life depends on it!
Survive Rehab: 8 Tips to Help You Get Trough Rehab Treatment
Here are our recommendations:
Understand That You’re Transitioning
Those few months after leaving rehab are the hardest you’ll have. You leave a safe place, where people are taking care of you (which is the case if you’d entered a good rehab) and all of a sudden, you’re back in the old environment. There are the same old people, the same old places. These triggers will try to pull you in every time you see them.
But remember, you’re still transitioning. It will take a lot of time for you and your friends and family to get used to this new life. All those emotions you feel, all those mixed thoughts you have, they will eventually disappear. But don’t try to fight them. Accept them. Accept the fact that you’ve done things that you’re not proud of, maybe hurt many people in the past, but you have been through rehab and are giving your everything to stay away from drugs or alcohol.
Relapse is part of the recovery process and your mind will often be busy with thoughts on drugs or alcohol. Therefore, it’s important what you’ll do in those moments. Will you listen to that voice telling you to take another glass of wine or snort just one line of cocaine? How strong are you fighting the disease of addiction?
Are you prepared for the fight that will last a lifetime? Because if you start using relapse statistics as an excuse to relapse for real, then you need to reconsider what are the things that are worth keeping you off drugs. In the process of staying sober, you’ll need help. Don’t be afraid to ask. One of the reasons people relapse after rehab is because they don’t have a support system. It doesn’t have to be like that for you.
Get a Strong Support System
You need love and compassion. You also need understanding. Try your best to find those that are willing to help you. That will listen to you and understand what you’re going through. Recovery is the perfect time to create new relationships with people you care about. It’s going to be difficult and hurtful, especially if your loved one is in the anger stage. Therefore, it’s important to find the time to discuss your goals and steps you plan on taking in the future. Are you getting back to work? Is spending time in that environment difficult for you? Do you find it hard to balance family and professional life? Try to track down previous stressful situations and avoid them. Don’t find excuses. If you really want this to work, you need to adjust and only do the things that keep you safe.
Remember to keep visiting AA or NA meetings. Speak to a counselor if you feel you need it. Find which approach is better for you. If you think that AA is not working for you, try sober living, intensive outpatient treatment. Try family counseling. Encourage your partner to see a therapist if they’re not handling well the situation. Your partner also needs someone to talk to. It’s healthier for him or her to let go all of those feelings that might hold them back from forgiveness of past mistakes. Both of you need to move forward. It’s the same situation with other family members. It can be really helpful to continually talk to a counselor and seek help.
Learn more: 12-Step Program History and Process
Forget Old Friendships
The beauty of new beginnings is the chance of starting something new, being who you always wanted to be, being a better you. It’s the same with meeting new people. It will be hard to leave some people behind, but you need to make recovery your priority. If there’s anyone that’s holding you down, distance yourself from that person.
Back to the transitioning point. It’s important to start planning your life while you’re still in rehab. While staying at a facility, you’re in a safe place. You’ve probably discovered the reasons behind the addiction and the influence previous environment has on you. That’s why you need to start planning your recovery while you’re in rehab. An efficient treatment facility will have everything prepared for you, based on your previous recovery plan. If that’s not the case, you should reach out to an addiction counselor that will advise you on the next best step after recovery. If you know you’ll find it hard staying sober after rehab, then your should consider sober living. Its flexibility will allow you balance your life during this transition. You can visit your family and still be around people in recovery.
Build a Routine
A routine will help you eliminate the unexpected situations that can arise during early recovery. Eliminate places where triggers can occur, parties or old gatherings where you used to drink and take drugs. Include healthy daily activities in your routine, such as meditation, prayer, working out or yoga. Whatever you do, keep your stress levels down. You don’t want to put a lot on your plate and try to deal with it by using or drinking.
Patience is Key for Recovery
Recovery is a long process. The sooner you accept it, the better. If you’re not patient and understanding enough for the situation you’re going through and start acting stubborn or refuse help and refuse to see warning signs that will again take you to point one, you’ll lose control. Remember why you’re doing this and always be aware of the consequences of not sticking to your recovery plan.
Other helpful tips:
- Keep a journal – write down your thoughts. It’s always good to know what you’re thinking during this difficult period.
- Help others – it’s a rewarding process, emotionally and spiritually. It will make you feel better and it’s also a great distraction.
- Start something small, but new. A new habit or some hobby you always wanted like planting a garden or learning a new language.
- Reward yourself. Whatever that means for you aside from drinking or taking drugs.
- Reflect on past successes.
- Be grateful. You’re doing good and you’re alive. If you work hard on your recovery, the reward will be even greater.
For more information please call our Addiction Treatment Helpline at (844) 439-4765. This is a Free and completely confidential call. We are available 24/7. In many cases, your health insurance company will cover 100% of the treatment cost. So please call now.