There is perhaps no better feeling in the world than successfully completing an addiction recovery program—getting through the process is not easy, but those who make it through understand how amazing their lives can be when they are able to be free from addiction. Many people who finish these programs, though, often find that getting back to reality is harder than they imagined, and sometimes the draw of alcohol or drugs can make it hard to remain sober.
Fortunately there are some strategies that can help you as you transition from an addiction recovery center or program to a long, successful, sober life free from the chains of addiction.
Get Through Today
Thinking about living the rest of your life without drugs or alcohol might feel overwhelming, which is why you shouldn’t be thinking about that right now. The key is to make it through today, and not stress out about what might happen a few days, weeks, months, or years down the road. If you can get through just today, that’s one more day of sobriety, and that’s the first step to a lifetime of sobriety.
Surround Yourself With the Right People
Just like your mom used to tell you in junior high, it’s important to surround yourself with good influences and eliminate the bad influences from your life. If your existing group of friends cannot go anywhere or do anything without involving alcohol, hanging out with them after you get out of a recovery program will only put that temptation right in front of you—and make it seem normal and harmless because all your friends are doing it. In addition, being alone all the time might make you want to drink or use drugs again, so surround yourself with a support group of sober people who can show you that having fun doesn’t have to include alcohol or drugs.
Understand Your Triggers
If you always reach for a drink after the stress of having a conversation with your estranged sibling, or you cannot help but use drugs when you are out partying with friends, you need to recognize these trigger situations and avoid them as much as possible. Alternately, identify things that help you avoid harmful drug or alcohol consumption and increase your participation in those things—especially when you sense a craving or a trigger coming on.
Take Care of Yourself in Other Ways
Participating in activities that increase your overall health and well-being can also help avoid harmful behaviors. If you are exercising regularly, meditating, eating well, and spending time with sober friends, you will likely feel happy and healthy, which can reduce the desire to return to drugs or alcohol.
Perhaps one of the most important things you can do is develop a strong network of support, whether it’s through counselors, friends, family, or support groups. You can find resources for addiction recovery at Renaissance Ranch, and get started on your path to lifelong sobriety today.