Anyone in recovery will tell you that coming home from treatment is only the beginning. After rehab, this next chapter presents a rare opportunity to rebuild your life by your own design. As you decide how you want to live, it can be particularly helpful to incorporate certain practices and ideals into your daily routine and your big-picture approach. With the right support, your life after rehab has the potential to outshine everything that came before it. Make the most of your new life by holding your sobriety as a core priority.
Fitting Sobriety into Your New Life
Staying sober can raise challenges, especially if you’re returning to a home, work environment or social group that acts as an unhelpful influence. While you don’t have to completely revise every part of your life that has the potential to be difficult, it can help you in the long run to examine the different aspects of your affairs with a critical eye. Make your sobriety a priority by setting boundaries that protect your values. This could mean changing the nature of your relationship with certain friends, modifying your needs in the workplace or setting clear lines with your family. Although it won’t always be easy initially, it’s important to build the foundation of your new approach on solid ground.
You can gain insight into tricky decisions by consulting people you trust with your recovery, like healthcare professionals, a therapist or a close family member. Make sure you surround yourself with people who have your best interests at heart. You can also develop a closer relationship with your instincts. When faced with a difficult situation, it can help to visualize the person you want to become and ask yourself: “What would that version of myself do now?” Even if you’ve had a rocky relationship with yourself in the past, now is the time to rebuild that trust and act according to your highest values.
Staying Connected to the Recovery Community
You’ll gain invaluable assistance in navigating your post-treatment life by staying connected to the recovery community. One especially helpful way to stay connected with your goals is to maintain communication with your peers in recovery. Many 12-step groups across the country meet in person and online, as well. You can also connect with a sponsor or another form of a one-on-one mentor or guidance counselor who can help you work towards your goals and support you through challenges. If the notion appeals to you, you can return to the location of your treatment to share your story with others going through similar experiences.
Another important way to stay connected to the recovery community is to regularly visit a therapist. A mental health professional can help you work on your most deep-seated issues over time, hold you accountable to your goals and check-in with you about your sobriety and your life in general. Like 12-step meetings, you can access thousands of mental health resources from the comfort of your home.
Finally, it can be useful to have at least one friendship with another sober person. Whether or not they’re in recovery, having friends in similar shoes can make you feel more at home in your choices and give you a safe contact if other relationships become difficult.
Creating a Safety Net
No matter how far along you are in your recovery, you should never feel ashamed or hopeless if you experience cravings, destructive tendencies or relapse. Even with the best resources on hand, overcoming addiction can be a long-term effort. Symptoms of backsliding or complications are all part of the journey and don’t mean you’ve failed – they mean that you should consider changing your approach. Yet despite knowing that relapse isn’t a failure, the deeply personal nature of recovery means that it can be easy to become demoralized by perceived challenges to your healing. This is why it’s critical to have a safety net in place for trying times.
If you sense yourself beginning to revert to destructive behaviors or can feel a buildup of the thoughts and emotions that precede them, reach out for help right away. Whether it’s to the staff at your treatment center, a counselor, a sponsor, or a trusted friend or family connection who knows how to help you, time is of the essence; external support can make a huge difference in correcting your course before things get any worse. Working with a recovery professional to establish a plan to follow due to an emergency – in this case, relapse or mental health crisis – will give you the chance to overcome stumbling blocks as they arise. In moments of doubt, it’s crucial to have contact with people who are prepared to lift you back up.
Walking out the door of your treatment center for the last time can be an exhilarating yet intimidating moment. Transitioning into the rest of your life doesn’t mean you have to leave behind the resources designed to assist you. At Pinelands Recovery Center of Medford, New Jersey, we know that recovery is a lifelong process that can benefit from ongoing support long after you complete treatment. Whether you’re just starting your journey of recovery or are ready to move into the next chapter of your life, our expert and compassionate staff are here to keep you moving toward your goals with confidence. We offer a wide range of continuing care options including a robust alumni program, from peer sobriety groups to one-on-one meetings that provide encouragement and accountability. You’re on the path to becoming your best possible self – don’t go it alone. Call us today at (877) 557-5372 to learn more.