Addiction and abuse is something that many of us struggle with, whether or not we realize it. It’s also one of the most overlooked aspects of health. As we know, addiction gone unchecked can lead us down some frightening paths, and far, far away from a healthy lifestyle.
The road to addiction recovery is a very trying time. Once you leave the rehabilitation center, you may believe that the worst is behind you. It is important to note that although going through a program begets great progress, the true test comes beyond those rehab doors. When you re-enter the world you left behind to get clean, you may be surprised to find that not much has changed at all. In fact, the only thing that has changed is you. Obviously, the life that you left behind was detrimental to your health, which is why it’s incredibly important to set yourself up to continue to be that improved, healthy, and successful individual.
Here are a few ways to guide you along your transition back into the real world, and back into a healthy lifestyle.
Ditch your old surroundings
Upon your arrival home you will notice that your old thought patterns and habits no longer serve you. Old “friends” will be in the same hangouts doing the same things that led you to rehab in the first place. In the beginning, you may feel strong enough to withstand your old crowds, but it is imperative to your health that you change your environment. Find new friends and new surroundings. Unhealthy environments provide the quickest route to a relapse so it’s best to avoid those places all together.
Fostering kinships with non-using friends is a great way to stay on the path of sobriety. Chances are when you were an addict, you didn’t nurture many friendships. Use this time to rekindle past relationships as well as forge new ones. Hanging with a sober bunch will help deter you from using again and the pleasure of good company will provide immense value in your life.
Take up a new hobby
Chances are when you were in rehab you were on a pretty airtight schedule. From sunup to sundown, your day was filled with blocks of activities leaving little time to be idle. This systematic approach was a good aid to assist you on the road to recovery, and you should adopt a similar process while at home. Now that you are out of rehab, you have been granted a clean slate. Take advantage of this by using your time wisely. Employment can take up a major portion of your day, but it’s important that you leave room for fun extra-curricular activities as well.
- If you are into sports, get physical and seek out a league to join. If you can’t find one, start your own!
- Join a CrossFit box, martial arts gym, running club, or another place that fosters community through a shared desire to better yourself.
- See if there are any opportunities to volunteer on a farm in your area and reconnect with nature.
- Take up cooking, and take cooking lessons. Start your own Paleo cooking and potluck club!
Use your positive turn-around as the chance to go out and experience life to the fullest.
Join a support group
As an ex-user, a support group will house a great opportunity to have someone hold you accountable for your sobriety. Understand that there will be moments where you feel as though you will give into temptation – this is where your access to a support group will benefit you most. These are the people who are dedicated to taking you off the ledge and reminding you why it’s so important to stay sober. Your support team can consist of family, friends and church members. Keep in mind it doesn’t have to be a group large in quantity. All that matters is their ability to impact your decisions in your most vulnerable times.
Be sure to be kind to yourself and celebrate the fact that you made it to this phase in your life. Determination led you here and that same determination will continue to guide you through. Adapting to life after recovery will have its challenges, but as you proved to yourself in rehab, there is nothing that you can’t overcome.
Post-addiction life is a chance to rebuild yourself and become healthier than you have ever been. If you need help with addiction and health, please reach out to Recovery Well. That’s what we’re here for.