One of the most difficult things about rehab is returning to the normal world after you’ve finished the program. You’ve just undergone a life changing experience of detoxification and therapy. You’re beginning a new life, a new journey, and you’re still unsure of where it’ll lead.
The truth is that recovery doesn’t end after treatment. In fact, some may even say recovery is a life-long process.
You’re likely conflicted. You’re excited about the road ahead of you, but you may also be a bit fearful of what’s to come. Living a sober life when after you’ve spiraled through addiction can be a foreign feeling.
In today’s post, we have a few tips that will help with the transition back to work, kids, school, etc.
Create a Gameplan
A 28, 60, or 90-day program won’t fix all your issues. You will still feel urges to return to your old lifestyle. It could take some time before you’re acclimated to normal society. Research has shown that most relapses occur in the first six months after rehab. This is when patients are most vulnerable.
To combat this, you need a gameplan. Here’s an example.
Find a support group, and attend their meetings. Supports groups can be essential to overcoming your internal issues and getting you to transition into normal life after rehab. Many of the group’s participants have been in your shoes, and can give much-needed support and advice on staying clean post-rehab.
Stay healthy. Go to the gym. Take yoga classes. Go for a meandering walk once a day. Eat whole foods. Drink water. By staying healthy, your body will have energy and your mind will have more clarity. A healthy mind and body can help you remain on-track.
Avoid situations that will trigger your old behavior. It could be a certain environment, or people from your social circle. The world around you can play a big role in your sobriety. You may need to cut off old friends if they are still part of a lifestyle you’re moving away from. You may need to find new ways to occupy your time, whether it be with a hobby or a new activity.
Create A New Environment
Continuing from the last section, how can one specifically “manage their situation” and create a new environment? For many, this can be quite difficult, but we have some advice to help with the transition to normal life.
The first thing you should do is surround yourself with better people. Were the people in your life unsupportive of you during rehab? Did they contribute to your substance abuse? Do they have a negative energy that drags you down?
You don’t need any of this as you recover. But finding new friends can be easier said than done.
One of the best things you can do is to find people who are aligned with your new lifestyle. Attend classes and group outings. Don’t be afraid to extend yourself and make new friends.
Many addicts believe that they need drugs and alcohol to be social. They use these substances like a crutch. In reality, there is an abundance of things to do without these substances. You just need to be open to it.
You will find that by being active and outgoing, your social experiences will be fulfilling and rewarding.
Uncover Your Ideal Career Path
Getting a job, or leaving your old one, can feel like a huge first step after you’ve finished rehab. You may feel as if your history of addiction will leave your job outlook lifeless, but this isn’t necessarily the case. We recommend two things:
- Find a career counselor. A career counselor will help you identify what skills of yours can be used in the job market. A career counselor offers an outside perspective on what you can do. A newly sober person may lack the personal insight needed to know what direction to pursue. The counselor will go over your education, work history, skill level to analyze where you could fit in the job market.
- Use an organization. In the United States, there are many organizations that help individuals find a better career path. Career One Stop, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, lists the workforce programs available in your local area. The National H.I.R.E Network helps ex-cons and former addicts find jobs in the workplace.
Finding a new career path can be a bit daunting, but it’s far from impossible for a recovering addict. It may take some time before you find a path that fits you best, but by following these tips, you’ll put yourself in a good position for the future.
Resume Your Education
If you were enrolled in higher education but dropped out due to your addiction, one of the best things you can do is go back to school. Even if you feel like you’re too old, or that time has passed you by, we assure you it’s never too late. Getting a degree or a certification can yield a higher paying career, a better network of friends and colleagues, and more life options in general.
Transitioning back to school after your addiction can be challenging if you’re sober. School life can be filled with drugs and alcohol, so we recommend finding activities on-campus that involve none of that. Or you could simply spend your free time away from campus.
Find Time For Your Kids
When you’re addicted, your children suffer too— at no fault of their own. Now that you’re sober, dedicate time to connect with them. Do whatever’s necessary to engage with them— whether that’s by watching them participate in school activities, or simply having daily conversations with them.
Being an involved parent can be extremely gratifying. There is nothing more your children will appreciate than your love and affection.
Are you struggling with addiction? Are you unsure how your life will adjust after rehab? Gratitude Lodge has helped many patients transform their lives, and you can become another success story. Contact us today to learn how you can conquer addiction and reclaim your life.