The journey to recovery from addiction is long and difficult. However, you’ve already accomplished a lot by completing your recovery program. Now it’s time to set yourself up for future success. Taking the steps to make sure everything you learned in recovery will follow you throughout your life. Here are 5 tips for finding your footing after addiction recovery.
Before Leaving The Recovery Facility.
Ideally, you should create a plan for post-recovery life before you leave your recovery center. You should talk with your counselors and health professionals about their honest opinions regarding what your next step. Preparing for life after addiction is a commitment, but it’ll be worth the effort in the long run.
What should you be expecting from life after recovery? What are some good coping mechanisms you can have in your toolbelt going forward? How can you avoid bad habits and form better ones to prevent relapse? Your counselors should be able to help you identify what your old triggers are. They can also guide you on how to avoid them in the real world. Discovering what you want to do with your life after recovery is also an important goal. Perhaps you will decide to go back to school, or return to your original career or do something totally different, like installing solar power systems. I mean why not, right?
Getting Continued Support.
Life after rehab can be incredibly isolating and lonely. It’s easy to slip back into old habits without the support systems and accountability you had in rehab. Nobody around you understands what you’ve been through, and you might feel like you can’t talk to anyone about how you feel.
That’s why it’s important to establish a support system as soon as you’ve left rehab. This could look like one-on-one talk therapy, a 12-step program, or other relevant support groups. It’s also important to continue checking in with your health care professional. Sometimes complacency is an issue and avoiding appointments because you don’t feel they’re necessary can become a habit.
Establishing New Routines.
It’s very likely that before you went to rehab, your life followed certain patterns that were triggering your addiction. That’s why it’s a good idea to establish new routines for your new life that don’t take you back to a damaging mental place. You may want to start by establishing an hour-by-hour daily routine that includes time for hobbies, exercise, journaling, meditation, or other activities.
It’s also a good idea to schedule time for talking to a friend, going to therapy or program meetings, and getting out of the house. If boredom is a trigger for you, it’s important to fill your spare time with activities that make you feel productive and positive. Returning to work or school after recovery can be difficult or jarring, so try to slowly ease back into those routines.
Making New Friends.
You may not be able to reconnect with old friends after recovery. They can often be people you practiced your addiction with or you lost connection during rehab. You may not have had a lot of time for close friendships and new experiences in your old life, as well. Now that your life is full of possibility and new freedom, it’s important to take advantage and not isolate yourself.
Try identifying some hobbies or activities that you’re interested in learning more about, and maybe find a group to participate with on Meetup. You may suddenly have more disposable income now that you’re not spending the money on your addiction. Maybe now is the time to buy the guitar you’ve always wanted or take those dance classes.
Gaining A New Mindset.
Unlike most people, you’ll have to be focused on your health on a constant basis after recovery. You need to approach all situations in life with the question “Is this helping my journey or hurting it?” You’ll have to prioritize things like therapy, support group meetings, and a healthy daily routine over doing fun, spontaneous things.
It may be difficult not to slip into complacency and start feeling overly confident. Try doing a daily intention first thing in the morning to reaffirm your commitment to your health. Be prepared for difficult days that challenge your resolve, and don’t be afraid to ask for help from a sponsor or trusted friend in tough times.
Overall, you should be proud of yourself for starting this new chapter of your life and excited for the possibilities of a life free from addiction.