Graduating from a rehab program isn’t the end of your recovery; rather, it is the beginning of the next phase of your life. A life that, because of your choice to work on recovery, will be full of opportunities and freedom.
They say recovery is an ongoing process, and that rings true. With the completion of rehab comes the next step – entering back into the routines and norms of everyday life. You now have the chance to put into practice the skills and coping mechanisms you learned in rehab, but the choice to do so is up to you. In order to continue choosing recovery, there are some things you can do to keep your supported and encouraged during this transition.
Maintain a policy of honesty
The same principles that guided you through rehab will be the ones you want to hold on to throughout recovery. Honesty will keep you on the right track. Although you may choose to be private about your life and struggles with addiction, you may actually find yourself strengthened and empowered when you refuse to feel shame about your recovery process.
While it may seem easier to respond to offers of drinks with creative excuses, it only gets trickier to keep up excuses and takes energy you might not have in every situation. A simple “I don’t drink” will usually garner you more respect and understanding than a fabricated story will. And who knows – maybe your example of sobriety will turn out to be a crucial example to someone in your friend group.
Throughout addiction, justifications and excuse making runs rampant in order to keep the addiction flourishing selfishly. Continued recovery, on the other hand, relies on daily self-evaluation and a commitment to take responsibility for weaknesses or negative patterns.
Each day, check up on your thoughts, behaviors and feelings. Be on the lookout for old patterns or feelings of fear, worry or anxiety. Dedicate yourself to taking the steps you have learned in rehab to make course corrections when something goes amiss. Do not be afraid of relapse. Instead, be confident in your ability to handle failure, mistakes and negative feelings in a healthy and productive way.
In addition to keeping yourself accountable with these check-ins, it might be helpful to find someone who can serve as an accountability partner, checking in with you from time to time to make sure you’re succeeding and continuously striving for sobriety. This can be anyone you trust, from a therapist to a friend to a sibling.
Build a support system
Surround yourself as much as possible with people who are supportive of you and your values. Don’t be ashamed of leaving behind friends who enabled your addiction and caused you more harm than good. It’s important to your recovery to break those ties and surround yourself with others who value your recovery as much as you do.
Additionally, taking the time to seek out a recovery support group, be it one in the community or an extension of the rehab program you completed, can help build friendships among others with shared experiences and allow you to learn how they continue to succeed in recovery.
Addiction is a physical and emotional disease, and both aspects of your life need to recover. Be sure you continue to spend time investing in both your physical and emotional heath. Practice meditation and yoga, exercise, eat wholesome foods and meet regularly with your support group or counselor to keep all your bases covered.
Only when you get outside yourself and engage with the world around you from a place of contentment and genuine love do you become completely free of addiction. You will have many opportunities to “pay it forward” throughout the rest of your journey.
Whether or not you choose to tell your personal story, you have a message of hope, healing and recovery to share with others around you. Without giving specific advice or treatment, you can encourage others who may be struggling with addiction and witness to them the hope in recovery.
For additional support
Lifelong recovery is full of ups and downs, and no one expects you to manage it perfectly. Remaining dedicated to your personal values and goals will help, as well as continued contact with your support system.
But if you do feel you need a little extra support during your continued recovery, don’t hesitate to contact Rehab After Work. No matter what you need, our staff is here to help. Call anytime at 610-644-6464.