Creating a new life after leaving rehab isn’t easy. It takes a lot of work and dedication to stay clean once you’re out of the structured environment of a treatment program. Things are going to be different when you get home…and they need to be. After all, you’re starting a new, sober life. Learning to navigate your environment should be a top priority, along with finding healthy ways to process the feelings that are bound to come flooding back.
Another hurdle you’ll encounter is that, unfortunately, the world didn’t stop while you were in rehab. The bills are still due, your home still needs running, and your relationships will undoubtedly need some serious work. Combined with everything else, if you’re unprepared, these life stressors can join forces and create the perfect storm for relapse.
The good news is that, when you have the proper tools, you can successfully manage the mental stress and anxiety of your newly sober life. Here’s a look at three skills to make your journey back to “normalcy” a lot less rocky.
Realize You’re a Rock Star
Don’t let that one confuse you; it doesn’t mean you should party like a rock star. On the contrary, this skill is all about recognizing how far you’ve come.
You’ve successfully completed a rehab program and that’s something you should definitely be proud of! It takes a lot of courage to admit you need help and commit to doing the work. No one can take that away from you.
Life may not be picture-perfect right now, but don’t waste time beating yourself up or dwelling on the past. Today is what matters and today you are sober. With a clear mind, you can choose to make things better. You faced down an enemy that literally had the power to take your life…and you’re still standing. That, my friend, makes you a rock star.
Seek Out Support
Recovery is nearly impossible to tackle without support. Friends and family members will no doubt want to help, but keep this one thing in mind: It’s hard for people to understand addiction if they’ve never experienced it themselves. This is where addiction support groups and continued therapy are worth their weight in gold.
By doing just a little bit of research, you’ll find hundreds of recovery support systems at your disposal. From online meetings to hobby-specific recovery groups, there’s something for everyone. No matter what kind of support group you choose, being able to talk to people who really “get it” can make a huge difference. Your peers in recovery offer no judgment and will serve as a soft place to land.
Know Your Triggers
Finding the strength to stay sober is a day-by-day process that ultimately makes a lifetime of difference.When you’re honest and aware of your potential relapse triggers – the people, places, and things that can potentially send you into a downward spiral – it’s a lot easier to modify your interactions or avoid them altogether.
While you can easily avoid some of those triggers, you can bet the farm that you’ll experience your share of unexpected hurdles. If you find yourself on the verge of a meltdown, take a step back and remember why it’s important to stick to your game plan. Finding the strength to stay sober is a day-by-day process that ultimately makes a lifetime of difference.
Learn more about recovery programs and support goups.
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