Having successfully completed treatment, you are suddenly faced with life after rehab. Depending on a great many factors, you may be elated, apprehensive, confused, excited, or all of the above. One thing is certain: you are now beginning a new life without the constant support of treatment, and you are not the first person to feel apprehensive.
You can take many steps to ensure that you maintain your sobriety and create a life that is satisfying to you. We list below a few of them for you to consider.
- Realize you do not have to do this alone. Seek out sober friends in various 12-step meetings. An active community is very important to keep you from feeling isolated, and it is very important to have fun with sober friends.
- Find one person, often called a sponsor, who can help you with the everyday challenges. This person should be someone who has faced similar challenges and has found solutions that work to stay sober and find fulfillment.
- Consider aftercare if that seems appropriate. Talk with your outpatient counselors at your treatment center and listen to their recommendations about aftercare.
- Stay away from old playgrounds and playmates. It is not a good idea to step back into the places you used to frequent in active addiction. And stay away from old friends who are still actively using alcohol or drugs. Replace old playgrounds and playmates with a new support group of sober friends and activities.
- If you can afford it, seek counseling. Ongoing professional support is invaluable. Most recovering people find that while life after rehab is satisfying, they still have issues that they can begin to resolve by talking with a professional therapist.
- Be of service to others. Few things are as helpful to someone in recovery as helping someone else. Being of service gets you away from thinking about your own problems and concerns and raises self-esteem.
- Keep in touch with your support group by telephone, text, and email as well as frequent face-to-face meetings.
- Pursue a hobby or interest that you have put off for years. Being creative or following an interest is calming and satisfying.
One day at a time, if you follow these suggestions and add other ideas along the way, you will build a satisfying and successful life after rehab.