A Fresh Start: Life After Rehab
Going into rehab is scary. Getting out is even more so. For people who haven’t experienced it, it may seem like getting out of rehab would be a celebratory event. It certainly is, but with that comes a lot question and nervous anticipation. It is a chance at a superb fresh start, but life after rehab can also be unforgiving.
How Life After Rehab is a Fresh Start
There’s no doubt that after successfully completing rehab, one will have a new lease on life and a much clearer mind. Addiction leaves a wake of destruction behind, much like a hurricane rolling through. In early recovery, it is important to keep focusing on staying sober and being your best self. At the same time, it is important to begin to rebuild pieces of the wreckage and start living a new life.
While early recovery is humbling, it is also a completely blank slate. People who were once high up in their companies may have gone to rehab after losing their job. Those same people now need to look for any job just to start having an income once again. Same goes with housing. You will be in a sober living home for a few weeks or months after rehab while you get back on your feet and find your own place. Extremely humbling, but it’s a safe place to be. In recovery, it’s all about baby steps.
Newly Sober, New You!
New Friends, a new location, a new and sober you – there are a lot of “new” parts about being sober, maybe for the first time in your life. You are rediscovering yourself as you navigate through life sober and without the influence of drugs and alcohol. It’s a chance for you to completely reinvent yourself.
The most important thing to remember while you go through this is to focus on your recovery. If you get frustrated about, say, a job situation, calm down and remember what brought you here. No matter what, you’re sober and in a better place than you were in your previous life. Focus on putting one foot in front of the other and staying sober, one day at a time. Everything else eventually will fall into place.
How Life After Rehab Can Be Unforgiving
While an exciting time of newfound sobriety, life after rehab doesn’t allow for mistakes. Staying sober is the number one priority, because when that details, other things go right along with it. It is essential to focus on working on your sobriety and at the same time, being proactive about building your new life.
Take your experience seriously from the moment you walk out the rehab doors. This is a time when people relapse because of all the new freedom they have. Depending on the level of care you had in rehab, you have been more or less cut off from the real world. Getting out means that you will have temptation back to taunt you, and you need to be strong enough to handle it without caving.
In early recovery, relapse is devastating. A person hasn’t yet had the chance to get back on their feet. That means that when they relapse, they have nothing to fall back on. If they live in a halfway house, they will get kicked out. If they live far from home, this means living on the streets with the only thing left to turn to being drugs. Worse yet, since the body has had weeks or months without a drug, if they ingest the same amount they are used to, there is a very high possibility of overdose and death.
How to Thrive in Life After Rehab
The best thing a person fresh out of rehab can do is set small, attainable goals for themselves and work towards them while focusing on their sobriety. Even better, most rehabs offer their clients the chance to do discharge and long-term care planning while they are still in rehab. This is a service that should definitely be taken advantage of.
Consider weaning off of treatment. Many people go to intensive treatment and then do nothing once they complete the program. There is a much higher chance of success if the weaning process is slow and gradual. There is treatment available at every level, from residential 24/7 treatments to one hour a week. Genuinely think of what you need and make sure not to cut it off too fast.
Always keep close to your heart what brought you to rehab in the first place. People forget about this once they leave and re-integrate back into society. If you keep this in your consciousness, you will be less likely to think it is ok to pick up a drink or drug.
Treat yourself kindly and try not to get overwhelmed – you have been through a lot and every small step you take in the right direction is something to be proud of.