Although your initial recovery from substance abuse may only take a few weeks, adjusting to life after rehab will take many more months, even years. How will you know what to do when unexpecting cravings or stressors arise? Fortunately, at At Gulf Breeze Recovery, our rehab aftercare program includes extensive guidance in navigating the next stages, so you are fully prepared for the challenges ahead. Call our team at 833.551.2304 to learn more about the ongoing support we offer to help you remain on the steady road to sobriety.
What to Expect With Sober Living
If life after rehab seems tremendously different, it isn’t just your imagination. When not under the constant influence of drugs and alcohol, your world may look, sound, and feel quite changed. Your emotional reactions to daily stressors may also be much more exaggerated without the buffer of substance use to distort your senses and perceptions.
It can help to think of sober living in similar terms to recovering from a romantic break-up. Just as you will see remnants of your relationship everywhere you look, you are likely to stumble upon remaining artifacts of your relationship with drugs or alcohol in unexpected places. At first, your days may feel even defined by the absence of drugs or alcohol. Just as you may seem to see evidence of your former partner everywhere you look, at home, in your car, on the job, with your friends…temptation may seem everywhere, even throughout your regular daily routines.
As with a break-up, this will seem more difficult at the beginning, though it will become easier by practicing the healthier habits learned in rehab, such as:
- Practicing mindfulness and keeping close to attention to which friends and what locations have the potential to trigger a relapse
- Engaging in regular physical exercise
- Eating a balanced diet
- Listening to your body’s cues and cutting yourself some slack during periods of high stress
- Making frequent plans with sober friends
- Taking advantage of your improving mental and physical health by engaging in new, enjoyable hobbies that require heightened coordination or problem-solving
As the days go on, you’ll notice more and more of your life coming into focus, with fewer and fewer temptations to derail your progress.
Practical Steps in Maintaining Sober Living
One of the skills you want to address in recovery is what to do if you relapse or are tempted to relapse. It is important to remember that relapse does not mean your recovery was a failure — only that you’ve identified a new area for improvement.
You’ll want to have a plan of action clearly spelled out, so you can receive the extra support you need immediately.
This plan may include:
- Listing the stressors that you will face after rehab, such as financial considerations or other ongoing responsibilities at home or in the workplace, articulating solutions for each in advance
- If your outpatient medical advisors have recommended medication, making sure to fill your prescriptions and have them at the ready
- Establishing a relationship with a counselor or therapist before you feel that you need one
- Making appointments to check in with a sponsor or trusted friend
- Keeping information about local recovery support groups in your phone, so no matter where you are, you know where to turn for help
- Making it a habit to attend group meetings such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) regularly, both to celebrate your achievements and receive extra support when needed
Learn More about Life after Rehab at Gulf Breeze Recovery
It is important to remember that you can make this transition as long as you have the correct support system in place. Call 833.551.2304 to learn more about our rehab aftercare program at Gulf Breeze Recovery and how our intensive outpatient program can prepare you for a fulfilling and successful life after rehab.