If you’ve been through any sort of treatment for addiction, then you’re well aware of the fact that treatment does not end when you finish a rehab program. Treatment lasts for the rest of your life. It will change and become less of a conscious struggle, but once you’re in recovery you must always be vigilant. It’s really just a core sense of self awareness. Once you know certain triggers in your life, you are then responsible for that knowledge. If you’re not really sure where to start, here are a few suggestive tips to help you remain sober after treatment ends.
Keep up with aftercare
Outpatient treatment is very helpful in recovery. You need someone to hold your hand and guide you through sober living for a little while after rehab. Sober life won’t just come naturally, because you have never had the proper coping mechanisms in place to handle everyday situations. Without continued support, your chances for success drop dramatically. So…go to those boring meetings. Just don’t get too wrapped up in the people around you. Remember, ultimately you are there for your own personal well-being. You are not Superman!
Isolation can be damning to your sobriety. Sitting alone with your addict brain will almost always figure a rational to relapse. If you have a very small support system, and find gaps in your social network, do everything you can to be around people. That doesn’t mean go to the bar, or call up your old buddies. Think proactive. Go sit in a cafe and people watch, or start a conversation with a stranger. Expand your horizons, and you may learn more about yourself along the way.
Keep yourself busy
Keep yourself busy with something as often as possible. If you draw your attention elsewhere, your addiction’s voice may not ring so loudly in your thoughts. The old saying, “Idle hands are the Devil’s playground,” is rather true is seems. Addicts are well known for relapsing because they’re lives are sadly understimulating. Give your mind something else to ponder upon. Find a hobby. Join a worthy cause in the community. Whatever keeps you busy, but also fulfills some inner need.
Be honest about relapse potential
The biggest thing you have to remember after treatment is that relapse is a very real possibility. You can’t let that be an excuse to give up on your sobriety, but you should be very honest with yourself about the rate of success among addicts. It’s not very high. The average user has to go through relapse almost seven times before they remain clean. Relapse is a very real possibility, but it doesn’t have to be a certainty. It also does not have to mean the beginning of the end.