After Rehab: 5 Ways for Addicts to Cope & Avoid Relapse
The few weeks after rehab can be harder than rehab itself. In fact, the first few weeks after rehab is arguably worse for the struggling addict. People have a lot less support once they have left the rehab facility. In other words, for the addict, life after rehab can be downright terrifying.
Sunflower Wellness Retreat can help. For newly recovering addicts, there are several things you can do to reduce the likelihood of relapse during life after rehab and your overall anxiety, as well.
Get A Sponsor
Do not make the mistake of thinking that you need to join Alcoholics Anonymous or another twelve-step group to have a sponsor. If you do not want to join a twelve-step group, ask a trusted friend to be your sponsor, someone you can call when you are overwhelmed. Having a sponsor is a crucial, time-tested part of successful recovery.
Always Remember HALT
One of the most helpful tools for recovering addicts is a neat and simple acronym: H (Hungry), A (Angry), L (Lonely), T (Tired). You are more likely to relapse if you experience any of these strong feelings. Be careful, and make sure to take care of yourself so that these unchecked feelings do not wreak continued havoc on your life! Get your rest, eat well, surround yourself with positive people, and express your anger in the right places: your journal, therapy, or artistic outlets.
Find Purpose During Life After Rehab
One of the best ways to ensure a successful recovery is to make sure that you are clear on your sense of purpose. Make sure that your life has meaning in several domains. Some ideas to find purpose after rehab involve:
- Making sure you are cultivating friendships full of nurturance
- Supporting or volunteering for organizations that serve others who are less fortunate
- Writing about your story in a journal or a blog post
- Planting the seeds to write your first book
Rediscover Childhood Fun
Addictions take over so much of an alcoholic’s life that they have stopped doing some very simple and basic activities that once brought them peace and joy. Figure out what you have fun doing and pursue those activities in a disciplined way (e.g., twice per week or more frequently). Examples include dancing, uncommon exercises (kick-boxing class, Pilates), and creative pursuits either at home or in a class at a local community college (drawing, painting, sculpting). We did this stuff as kids, so why did we ever stop?
Work On Your Relationships
It is impossible to be an addict without simultaneously damaging some of your closest relationships. Yes, it’s hard to be the addict, but it is no easier to be the loved one of the addict. After rehab, you must start to do the work to improve your relationships that have suffered because of your historic loyalty to the addiction—and your loved ones know too well that you put your addiction first. Start having conversations with your loved ones about their feelings and apologize for the fact that your problems caused problems for them, too. Give them a chance to tell you how they have felt as they witnessed your downward spiral, and reassure them that you are now making an honest commitment to change. If you get feedback that is painful or hard to hear, call your new sponsor, who can give you some perspective on the situation.
The bottom line is that life after rehab is incredibly challenging. However, people successfully work on their recovery every single day, and you, too, can become a success story as long as you do the work and follow some of the steps above in your life after rehab. Call Sunflower Wellness Retreat for information on recovery. We are willing and able to help today.