There is a great feeling of accomplishment when you complete a rehab program. However, the transition back to a normal life is not always full of rainbows and butterflies.
While you were in drug or alcohol rehab, you had to follow a regimented daily schedule to restore a semblance of normalcy back into your otherwise chaotic life. Living without that sort of structure can, naturally, leave you feeling anxious and confused; potentially tempting you to go back to square one in your addiction.
Hence, it is vital that you integrate winning strategies to maintain your sobriety after the program. Here are some tips to help you out:
Think About the Long-Term
First, you have to recognize that recovery is not a one-time thing. It’s not something that you want to try for a couple of weeks then go back to your old ways. It’s a decision that you have to live with until the end of your days. However, there is no deadline that you need to stick to or any pressure to quickly achieve things that you’re not ready for.
Give yourself time and space to adjust to your new sober lifestyle. It will take a while to learn to cope with urges and cravings; to make amends for the wrongs you’ve done while you were addicted; to mend fractured or damaged relationships; and to better communicate with others. The list seems long but you can shorten it to a single line of “don’t slip and stay sober”.
With a long view of recovery, you have leeway to make steady and measured progress towards realistic and reasonable goals. As you meet milestones, you can add more and have your horizons broaden. But for the meantime, remind yourself to go about recovery day by day, one step at a time.
Stick to Your Plan
Now that you’re re-entering the world as a new person, you’ve likely thought out a vague action plan already. This probably includes getting some exercise, keeping appointments with the therapist or doctor, eating regular and nutritious meals, having enough sleep at night, returning to work, joining recovery groups, and so on.
Depending on what kind of addiction you had and for how long you were addicted, your plan may require allowances to cater to your specific needs. This is especially true if you have any co-occurring disorders or medical conditions to think about.
Either way, you just need to remember to stick to your strategy. Your newfound sobriety can feel bewildering at first, but you’ll grow into it over time. Just keep going to those support group meetings and doctor’s appointments. Make radical changes only when you’ve built a firm foundation for recovery.
Appreciate What You Have
Don’t get so caught up in immediate concerns that you undervalue what you’ve already achieved. This is pretty common in recovering addicts. After all, the early stages are always full of things that need to be done that you don’t have much time for self-reflection.
If you want to build a successful foundation for sobriety, take the time to appreciate what you have. Just stop to think about it and you’ll see that you’ve already done a great deal. You are no longer bumbling in the darkness but you’ve even completed a drug or alcohol rehab program.
By following or adopting this strategy, you will also be less likely to be disappointed in yourself or to be envious with other people’s progress.
Learn from Your Experiences
You can learn something from every experience in life if you change how you see it. Seeing things this way can allow you to make smoother progress since you aren’t so fixated on staying in your struggles. Understand that it’s normal to encounter setbacks as you work your way to your goals.
Learning a new language or skill requires time and there’s the learning curve to consider. You find the right answers with practice and study. When you’re unable to complete a task as you anticipated, take it as a chance to make improvements to your plan or to change the way you think.
While you’re still alive and breathing, there will always be a next time. You know how that famous saying goes about falling seven times and getting up eight times. Keep on going on your journey and don’t be afraid to apply the lessons you’ve learned from your mistakes.
Believe in Yourself
As you’ve noticed, staying sober is not a walk in the park. It can be easy to feel down when things don’t work out as you’ve planned but you need to learn to be confident in your own strength and capabilities.
There may be times when your loved ones could have doubts about your sobriety. Plus, temptations are always right around the corner waiting to catch you off-guard. So, build up your self-esteem so you can remain standing amidst the hurdles thrown your way.
In the end, it’s your own strength of will that could keep you going. People can give you as much encouragement as you want but you won’t be able to succeed if you think that you can’t. Remove self-doubt and replace it with motivation and self-love.
These are 5 strategies to help you stay sober after rehab. Be sure to keep them in mind and find other new strategies that progress your recovery one day at a time. Should you have a relapse, make the necessary arrangements for an arrested relapse program. Once you’re done with this, you can try again and again and again. Just don’t ever give up on yourself, no matter what.