Tools for Building a Sober Life
When you graduate from rehab, your journey isn’t over. Long-term recovery is like walking up a down escalator. Your sobriety won’t define your life, but you will have to actively pursue it — for the few months, rigorously.
Some additional tips:
Believe in the system
Accepting that your addiction has power over you isn’t the same as admitting that you’re powerless. You’re simply acknowledging your underdog status. Think about all of the greatest comebacks in sports history: the underdogs, in order to beat the odds, had to know they were the underdogs. When you enter addiction treatment, you’re beefing yourself up for a comeback.
Maintain a Support System
In addition to a support network of friends and family, all recovering addicts should be involved in sober-minded activities of some sort: therapy sessions, group meetings, and so on. Furthermore, you should take steps to eliminate negative support. This can be tricky, because even the most well-intended people can be a negative influence. Maybe those friends or family members are drug users themselves; maybe something about their personality triggers the urge; or maybe the memories you associate with them steer your mind toward a bad place.
Don’t Get Too Confident
When life seems to be going well, there is a tendency to skimp on our sobriety efforts. Addiction is sneaky, life is unpredictable, and just one relapse can send you back down the rabbit hole. Most relapses don’t happen immediately after leaving the rehab center; they come 1 to 4 years later. Relapse-prevention isn’t meant to imply that your life is messy. It’s a fail-safe.
If You Do Relapse, Do Not Abandon Ship
Have you ever spent hours writing an essay or assignment of some kind only to have your computer crash? The thought of starting the whole thing over again can be so daunting, you’re actually tempted to say “screw it” and accept the F. If you ever relapse, you’ll likely experience the same urge. However, relapse can be categorized into two sorts: full-blown relapses and “slips.” If you slip, you can catch yourself and call out for help, so make sure you’ve got that support network under your belt — someone to turn to.
For more information on relapse prevention techniques, explore our blogs.