This article was written by James Malervy and published by RCA
Finishing a rehab program is a huge accomplishment. It takes a lot of strength and courage to face your alcohol or drug addiction and get the help you need. You’ve put in the hard work to get sober, and now it’s time to start rebuilding your life. But now, you’re wondering what life will be like after addiction treatment.
While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, people experience common hardships after completing a drug or alcohol rehab program. This article will highlight some significant challenges you’ll likely experience after rehab. It will also delve into relationships, careers, etc., and how sobriety can help you save them.
But before we do that, it’s essential to know that the treatment you get will not fix all your problems. It takes a little more time and effort to get your life back to where it was before your substance use disorder.
Maintaining a Sober Life after Rehab
After rehab, you’ll return to your normal life. This means going back to your family, work, hobbies, and friends, all of which are potential triggers. You’ll also experience triggers like:
- Stressful events such as job loss, divorce, or the death of a loved one
- People, places, and things associated with your addiction
- Boredom or free time
- Negative emotions such as anger, sadness, or anxiety
- Cravings for drugs or alcohol
Understanding these negative triggers can help you avoid them and protect yourself against relapse. In addition to this, you also need a plan in place to help you achieve long-term sobriety. These plans can include the following:
- Participating in the 12-step program – This program is designed to help you stay sober by working through the 12 steps with a sponsor.
- Attending therapy – This can be either individual, group, or family therapy and can help you work through any underlying issues that may have contributed to your addiction.
- Joining a social group – There are many social groups available for people in recovery, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. These groups can provide support and fellowship.
- Living in a sober living home – Sober living homes provide a safe and drug-free environment for people in early recovery.
- Making healthy lifestyle changes – Addressing your health, diet, and exercise can help you feel better physically and mentally, reducing your risk of relapse.
- Following your treatment plan – Your treatment plan should be individualized to meet your needs. It may include medication, counseling, and other support services.
It’s also important to find new activities and hobbies that you enjoy. It could be traveling, swimming, hiking, singing, watching movies, taking a dance lesson, etc. This can help you stay sober by giving you something positive to focus on. The key thing to keep in mind is you don’t need to use drugs or alcohol to enjoy life.
The Challenges of Keeping Your Life Together After Rehab
Completing a rehab program and re-entering society as a sober person comes with its fair share of challenges, including:
Developing new coping strategies
In rehab, you learn how to deal with triggers and cravings without using drugs or alcohol. But it will take time to develop new coping mechanisms that work for you in the real world. This could mean finding ways to manage negative feelings, difficult emotions, and cravings that don’t involve self-destructive behaviors. This can be tricky, particularly if you have been in the grip of addiction for an extended period.
Staying away from old friends and habits
One of the most important aspects of recovery is staying away from people, places, and things that trigger your addiction. This might mean distancing yourself from old friends who still use drugs or alcohol. It could also mean avoiding places you used to drink or get high. Sometimes, it might even mean changing jobs if your work environment is problematic.
Building new relationships and repairing old ones
In rehab, you’ll have the opportunity to form new, healthy relationships with people who understand what you’re going through. These relationships can be an important part of your support system as you rebuild your life.
You may also need to work on repairing old relationships damaged by your addiction. This could include family members, friends, and coworkers. This can take days, weeks, or even months, and it’s never easy. However, relationships and social networks that offer love, friendship, hope, and support are an important part of a life in recovery.
The Importance of Staying Sober
Sobriety is essential to maintaining a healthy and happy life. It can help you build healthier relationships, improve your career, and increase your overall well-being. With sobriety, you will:
- Look and feel healthier and better about yourself – Addiction takes a toll on your physical and mental health. When you’re sober, you will look and feel better.
- Build healthier relationships – Addiction can damage your relationships with family, friends, and coworkers. In sobriety, you can rebuild these relationships or create new ones.
- Improve your career – Addiction can lead to job loss or job dissatisfaction. In sobriety, you will have the opportunity to find a job that you love or advance in your current career.
- Live a happier and more fulfilling life – Addiction can make life empty and meaningless. In sobriety, you will find joy and satisfaction in everyday activities. Sobriety is essential to maintaining a happy and healthy life.
- Save a ton of money – Addiction can be expensive. In sobriety, you will have more money to spend on things you enjoy.
What happens in the event of a relapse?
If you find yourself in the grip of addiction again, getting help as soon as possible is important. This could mean going back to rehab, attending support groups, seeing a therapist, or asking a doctor for medical advice.
The important thing is to get back on track and stay committed to your sobriety. Relapse can be difficult, but it’s not the end of the road. Treatment centers understand relapses can happen. With help, you can get back on track and achieve your goals.
Recovery is a journey, not a destination, and sobriety is a lifelong commitment. It’s important to remember that there will be ups and downs along the way. But with dedication and hard work, you can achieve your sobriety goals and lead a happy, fulfilling life.