Continuing Your Recovery Journey
Graduating from a rehab program isn’t the end of your recovery; it is the beginning of the next phase of your life. A life that, because of your choice to work on recovery, will be wonderful and full of opportunities. However, the work doesn’t end with the conclusion of rehab. You will need to stay diligent and focused in order to sustain the changes that have allowed you your freedom from addiction. Staying sober after addiction treatment will be possible if you follow some important principles.
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, you will find strength 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.
Throughout your addiction, you probably became used to making excuses or justifications. Continued recovery hinges 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 is 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.
Build a Support System
Surround yourself as much as possible with people who are supportive of you and your values. When your friends accept your choice to stay sober, you will feel less temptation to compromise your recovery to please others.
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.
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 share 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. You can direct them to contact a recovery service such as Rehab After Work that will help them begin their own journey.
As you embrace these principles, you will enjoy the freedom that comes from knowing that you have the power to choose the way you want to live your life.