Contributor: Shelby Hendrix, writer for Soberlink
Those who are fighting to recover from alcoholism are not immune to the stigma that surrounds the disease. But stereotypes and stigmas stem from a lack of understanding and your best weapon against these things is honest communication.
Showing others that you are doing your best to overcome addiction may help diminish the stigma on a wider scale and shift the narrative away from harmful stereotypes.
Creating and Completing a Treatment Plan
Making the decision to get sober and then successfully completing a treatment program is a huge accomplishment! It’s proof that you are committed to fighting your addiction. But the work required to live a sober life doesn’t stop when you leave a rehab facility.
You’ve put in the work at rehab and gained an opportunity to change your life for the better. Maintaining those positive changes from rehab will take proactive efforts and reinforcements. At the very least you must carry the things you learned in treatment into your day-to-day life. Everyone’s journey is unique but there are a few common staples of successful recovery stories.
Focus on taking back control and living a fulfilling, healthy life with these 5 tips:
1. Find Other Sober People
Sober contacts can be some of your most valuable tools during recovery and they can also become lifelong friends. You should be able to call these people if you’re struggling with cravings, or if you just need to talk.
Sobriety can seem lonely at first but there is a vibrant recovery community at your fingertips. A good place to start such a network, if you haven’t already created one with others in treatment, is to attend peer support meetings like those offered through Al-Anon.
As for relationships from your former life, take care to not put yourself back into potentially dangerous situations. You may not be able to safely associate with friends and acquaintances from before treatment.
But if there are meaningful relationships you want to recover, do so with caution and patience.
Rebuilding damaged trust will take time, but it can happen. Walk your road and lead by positive example. Your new patterns and habits will have only positive effects on your life and relationships.
2. Get Into Clean and Sober Housing
Secure a place to live where you won’t be exposed to alcohol when you first leave rehab. It can be very hard to maintain early sobriety when you have roommates who drink. Even if they offer to hide or lock up the alcohol, the temptation will still be there.
If you are having trouble finding a place, look for transitional housing associated with your treatment center or try Oxford House, a nationwide network of housing for people in recovery.
3. Restore Your Physical Health
Many people in recovery find that they have neglected their overall physical health during their addiction. Break this habit once you leave treatment. Take some time to learn about nutrition and how it affects your stress and energy level.
It may be a good idea to become familiar with the produce section of your local grocery store. Be sure to see a doctor for any medical issues and keep up with your dental needs. Your recovery journey will only benefit from a physically healthy lifestyle. Start treating your body like a temple and you’ll start to feel better in other areas of your life.
4. Pay Attention to Your Mental Health
Be mindful of how you are feeling. Tapping into your emotional and mental health can help you live your life to the fullest and avoid relapse.
Things like prayer, yoga, and meditation can aid your recovery. Take the opportunity to quiet your mind, evaluate your mental state, and refocus on your recovery goals.
If this seems overwhelming, start with something simple like taking 10 minutes each morning to write down and reflect on your goals.
5. Find Activities to Fill Your Time
Once you leave rehab, you’ll find yourself with a considerable amount of free time. To avoid falling back into old habits, get yourself involved with some new activities and hobbies. These could be a job, school, a regular schedule of outpatient groups – or a combination of these.
Many treatment centers offer continuing-care programs specifically tailored to meet these needs and ensure that graduates stay on the road to recovery. Being active in the recovery community will help you keep your addiction at bay and form lifelong bonds with like-minded people.
You are so much more than your addiction and now you have the opportunity to prove it. Leaving rehab can be scary at first but you have the chance to rebuild and enhance your life outside the bounds of alcoholism.
About SOBERLINK, Inc.:
SOBERLINK, Inc. is the leader in mobile breath-alcohol monitoring. Since 2010 SOBERLINK patented Breathalyzers and cutting-edge software have proven to be an integral part of the recovery process for people struggling with alcohol dependency. The monitoring system aims to help people recover from alcoholism with modern technology.
Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!
What has been the experience of you or your loved one for rebuilding a life after rehab? What advice do you have to share?
About the author:
Shelby Hendrix is a blogger from the Northern Midwest with close personal ties to the addiction world. She focuses on the addiction landscape to reach out to those fighting alcoholism and compel them to seek an informed, healthy recovery.
Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on May 26th, 2015
Published on AddictionHope.com