Completing a rehab program can be a challenging time to navigate. With triggers around every corner, transitioning to normal life after rehab is one of the biggest life changes a person can undergo.
While in rehab, daily life is regimented and tightly controlled. After rehab, you’re thrown to the lions and left to deal with the relative anarchy of everyday life. It is up to each individual person to decide how to handle their life. If they do outpatient treatment, they still have a structure with set boundaries and certain elements to help them thrive. Once they leave, they must work to put together an aftercare plan and begin implementing it. All the while, the person must wrestle with sobriety and recovery. Rehab transitions don’t have to be full of anxiety and worry. They can be positive with support from loved ones and tools to help them get through.
Aftercare programs are critical parts of long-term recovery. Addicted people need structure and support. They need the elements of a program to help them get on their feet again. When left to their own devices, they may not have the tools they need to combat addiction and stay clean. A treatment program is only the start, providing the foundation for lifelong recovery. Sober life is a daily commitment to seeing the plan through every day. A person’s mind and heart must be moving forward in the same direction to make it all work well.
Long-range planning and care looks different for every person. Some will be working in outpatient programs, so they are not transitioning from an inpatient facility. Others go from inpatient to outpatient than onward, and so on. The possibilities are endless, which is why they need guidance, direction, and support from loved ones and professionals in their programs. Sober living creates a stepping-stone from rehab to the real world. An addicted person in sober living may become shielded from triggers and feelings of wanting to use again. After all, the environment they live in has a massive impact on their lives. If the place you were living before treatment is not conducive to sobriety, sober living may be the right call. Sober living is a great transition plan for people who need a safer place to live and are able to sort out financing and arrangements.
Temptations come and go, but they still can impact recovery. Being able to tune into oneself and gain clarity in recovery is essential. The ability to avoid relapse and have a plan is vital. Relapse happens most often because people lose sight of their recovery plan. They let some things slip, allow triggers get to them, or they become more susceptible to the challenges of recovery. People from the past come back, and memories linger long after they should, chipping away at a person’s confidence and self-esteem. Learning to use the right tools can make the difference between relapse and a life of sobriety.
Healthy Routines Are Key
Structure is one thing in rehab, but after it ends, finding it at home is the real test. A healthy routine might look different for you or the next person, but all that matters is whether you can follow it. It helps to eliminate places where triggers take place and focus on being healthy in mind, body, and spirit. Meditation helps, as does working out, and regular exercise. Eating the right foods, drinking water, and being in touch with sober companions and friends also helps. Build a structure with a schedule of what to do each day and how to spend time getting little things done so as not to get overwhelmed.
Watch Stress Levels
Stress can get to a person in recovery quickly. The stress response is already high, and it doesn’t take much to make it take flight into outer space. Getting a person back down to earth takes support and care. Stress levels can be lowered by reducing workload, changing routine to get more rest, and not getting overwhelmed by personal circumstances. There is only so much to do to get back on track, so take it one step at a time and worry less about being off track than doing one thing to get back.
Getting out of rehab back home again means looking at all facets of life. This includes relationships. Family, friends, loved ones, and others need to be re-evaluated. Some friendships will end, while others will shift. Some new ones will emerge, and other toxic people will keep coming around. Old friends who party should be out for now. Don’t be around people who use substances and drink. Transition time is relapse time for some people. Don’t be put in a compromising position. Decide to let go of what isn’t working and move towards what will help make the transition more positive.
Find loved ones, friends, therapists, and community support to check in with. Tell them how things are going and let them help right the ship. It will be tough sailing for a while, but transitions often are. Don’t expect smooth sailing. Walk into it, expecting some choppy waters and then work out how to navigate them with the help of support around you.