Life After Rehab: Challenges to Maintaining Sobriety
Life after rehab is not usually what people expect.
It feels good to have undergone a life-changing experience such as sobriety. But after exiting the doors of a rehab center, how do you hold tight to your newly changed life?
People who’ve never experienced addiction often think that life after rehab is a walk in the park.
You sober up and life is automatically like every other person’s life, right? Wrong. You and I both know that it’s not at all that simple.
Maintaining your sobriety can be difficult at times, but it’s doable.
Here are a few challenges to maintaining your sobriety and the sustainable changes you can embrace that will help make life after rehab easier to manage.
Challenge: Establishing a Solid After Care Plan
Complacency—the moment in your recovery when you may say to yourself, “I got this” and believe you no longer need to actively go to meetings, see a therapist or reach out to sober supports. Basically, omitting any of the good things that have been part of life after rehab.
Complacency is one of the biggest causes of relapse. Therefore, it is very important to work on creating an ongoing active program of recovery.
Every person should create a program that will compliment their own life style. Individuals should be prepared to do something each day. Joining a support group, such as AA, NA or Smart Recovery are excellent resources to stay connected in the recovery community.
A solid after care plan will be based on the willingness to hold yourself accountable and the conscious decision to do things differently with these changes you can strengthen your recovery and maintain sobriety.
Challenge: Establishing a Clean Self-Care Routine
While you were struggling with your addiction, simple things like sleeping, exercising, or eating basic meals probably weren’t high on your to-do list. These simple things are undoubtedly the bread and butter of life. They keep both your mind and body healthy.
For your new life after rehab, you need to establish a healthy self-care routine.
Get your circadian rhythm back on track by adopting a regular sleeping pattern. This means going to bed and getting up at the same time each day.
When it comes to exercise, find an activity that gets your body moving and that you enjoy doing, like biking or going on walks.
And, lastly, take control of your eating habits by providing your body with the fuel it needs to sustain your new lifestyle.
Challenge: Avoiding “High-Risk” Situations
Any situation that might make it easier for you to fall back into old addictive patterns is considered a “high-risk” situation. This type of situation is unique to you and your backstory.
I can’t tell you in a post what you need to avoid, but there are people in your life who can tell you.
Make a point to have a discussion with a trusted friend or family member, your sponsor, your therapist, or even someone else in recovery. During these important conversations, create a list of places, situations, and certain people you need to avoid. Carry the list with you all the time and refer to it often.
Challenge: Rebuilding Your Social Circle
Like I mentioned before, there are going to be certain people who can no longer be a part of your life after rehab.
Old friends might say they support you, but they likely haven’t turned away from their own toxic habits. These old friendships were based on addictive behavior. So, keeping the connection will be a temptation to start using again.
Instead, surround yourself with a new circle of friends. Friends who support your new, clean lifestyle.
Choose people you trust and with whom you share a common interest. For instance, if you’ve chosen jogging as your exercise of choice, then join a jogging club. Joining a club or social group is great since they typically have a set time when they routinely meet.
The main point is to welcome people into your life who are in your corner when it comes to maintaining your sobriety.
Challenge: Reinventing Yourself
Now that your time is no longer consumed with your addiction, you have the opportunity to explore activities and hobbies that might peak your interest. Not only will these serve as healthy distractions, but they’ll also provide you with an avenue of self-expression.
There’s a good chance that all your efforts before sobriety were focused on your addiction. Life after rehab can be much more interesting, diversified, and satisfying.
Life after rehab feels very different. This serves as a perfect time to do some soul searing and figure out, “What do I want my life to look like?”, “Who do I want to be?”
In fact, it will be the perfect opportunity to get to know yourself as a sober person. You can enjoy life again as you figure out what sort of hobbies and activities you enjoy. Take advantage of this opportunity to venture out, try new things, and reinvent yourself. Enroll in a class or read a few blogs to discover what interests you.
If you’re ready to make life after rehab your best life ever, then I’m here to help. Please reach out to me and together we can draw up a plan to keep you living the life you truly want.