When you first detox and go to treatment for your substance abuse disorder, you are processing a ton of issues and life can seem full of challenges. There are a lot of emotions to sort through and behaviors to change. That is why your environment is so closely controlled in the treatment setting. You’re surrounded by compassionate staff and peers who help you make new plans and spread your wings. While it may seem like a cliché, treatment can give you the time and space to grow and change just like a butterfly in a cocoon.
Once you’ve obtained early recovery, you have made so many changes it seems hard to keep track. You may be nervous about whether or not you can maintain your sobriety after you re-enter “normal life” situations (like moving out of sober living and returning to your career). When our time in treatment draws to an end, it’s usually apparent that there is still growing to do. But the idea of life after treatment can be filled with uncertainty and fears. One of the most significant fears you may have is fear of the unknown. You may worry about your relationships, career or other responsibilities.
Keep Yourself Grounded
The transition from treatment to your “regular life” can be scary, but there are many things you can do to keep yourself feeling grounded and in charge of your recovery. Here are a few to try:
- Make a schedule and stick to it. In treatment, the structure is usually a big part of your day. Groups, therapy, and meetings help you keep busy and focus on yourself. Make sure that your schedule fills most of your day and there is time for self-care in your plan.
- Be aware of your moods. Feeling down or blue is natural in early recovery – make a plan to cope if you’re feeling upset. Pick up the phone, go to an extra 12-step meeting, or meet up with a friend to help stay away from gloomy moods.
- Have an aftercare plan. Many treatment centers will recommend group therapy, individual therapy, and 12 step meetings. Stick with your aftercare plan. It will help you explore your emotions and life in a safe setting where you can process it. This is especially important for the first year of recovery.
- Be of service to others. Make coffee for meetings, set up chairs or offer rides to other people. Being involved will help you feel like a part of the community, and your help will help others, too.
Life after recovery is full of challenges. You’ll be able to accept new challenges as you feel stronger. Life is always full of surprises, but with new coping skills and friends that you can turn to, you’ll be able to transform those challenges into new experiences.
If you’re sick and tired of getting drunk or high and want to start a new way of life, please get in touch. At Orange County Recovery, we have created a safe and comfortable community to help you on your journey towards healing. All calls are confidential; please contact us at (877) 450-1880.