Leaving rehab can often be overwhelming. It’s difficult to know the best methods to maintain your recovery. Here is how we think you should take on the first week to keep you away from relapse and on a safe route to sobriety.
First off, there are some people, places, and things you NEED to avoid. Beginning with staying away from alcohol and drugs. Next, it is to organize a support system of friends and family. You can contact these people you’re facing an urge or temptation. Avoid negative relationships, for example, people who used substances with you. These people don’t just have to be bad influences, they can also be negative and harm your confidence and success. Finally, plan a way to explain your recovery to others while taking responsibility for behaviors you might have exhibited because of the addiction.
Now that you know first and foremost what and who to avoid, here are tips to boost your recovery.
Go to meetings: Meetings and other support groups serve as a relapse prevention tool. Having a community that supports your recovery is extremely important. During the first week out of rehab, you need the encouragement, motivation and structure that is provided by going to a support group.
Find your circle: It is necessary to arrange a group of supportive friends and family that care about your sobriety and recovery. Once you leave rehab, you will have less access to support and advice. Make sure you share you recovery with those who are important to you. Explain how their love and constant support will help you remain sober. Having a network of people you can reach out to at any time is very important for avoiding relapse.
Don’t push it: When you leave treatment it is easy to feel excitement and joy. These feelings, while great, can be especially reassuring. Don’t allow for a burst of confidence to encourage you to take on too much too soon. Slow and steady wins the race, and we really believe that! Taking things one day at a time will help you see your recovery more clearly. Balancing your life and relationships is a top priority to maintenance.
Make a schedule: Your time at rehab consisted of a strict daily schedule. Without this kind of discipline, it may be easy to find yourself bored, lonely, and reflective during free time. Create a schedule for yourself that doesn’t allow for free time. Keeping busy and following a structure will help you to be productive, sharp, and focused on your recovery. Idle time is the enemy in this case so if you find yourself with an excess amount try and take up a hobby or new interest.
Practice what you’ve learned: In treatment you learned various coping mechanism to avoid relapse. Sharpening and refining these skills and behaviors such as dealing with cravings and triggers is necessary to ward off relapse. Applying the knowledge you learned at rehab to your new life will teach you which methods work best in your environment. Having a better understanding of yourself and your surroundings is always beneficial.
Build a strong foundation: Your first week back should resemble a very toned down version of your usual life. Jumping back into your day-to-day without using might be enough of a change to stress you out. It is important to avoid other big life changes such as starting a new job, moving, or engaging in a new romantic relationship. These situations can be stressful and cause more harm than good, even if your intention is to change your old ways. Stressors are a major trigger that jeopardize our sobriety. Allow for things to settle down and adjust before applying change. A strong foundation is a key component of your recovery.
Finally, be proud and love your recovery. You have reached a point where you can thrive on your own. Don’t be afraid to share your success and your story with others. Accepting yourself with you flaws will allow you to see the true success in recovery. View your return home as a step toward a better future.