Coming out of treatment and heading into what will be the rest of your (sober) life is an exhilarating and rewarding feeling for any recovering addict or alcoholic. There’s nothing quite like that first breath of fresh air when you come out of rehab, clean for possibly the first time in a very long time. There is much to be accomplished now that you head back into the world. Perhaps there are relationships to rekindle or repair, work to be done on your career, and health concerns regarding diet and fitness. A positive, optimistic attitude will take you far in life now that you’ve achieved sobriety from the depths of a difficult addiction. Just be fully aware that with all that lies ahead, there will be bad days. Difficulties will crop up and temptations will beckon you. Staying strong and focused for the long game will mean the difference between a life of bounty and landing back in treatment.
Have Realistic Expectations for Recovery
The best way to be prepared to confront the bad days and hurdles you will surely face in the upcoming months and years of active recovery and ongoing sobriety is to have realistic goals and expectations along the way. You can’t leave rehab and expect that you will just be back to being a regular joe like everyone else, like the person you were before your addiction. That’s not realistic and it’s naive. You will always be a recovering addict, from this point forward. Recovery and sobriety are fantastic and fulfilling achievements that will be rewards in and of themselves, but you must accept that there will be challenging times ahead.
While you may (and should) feel strong about your convictions toward sobriety today, there will be days when the stress and exhaustion of life will leave you feeling low and thoughts of self-soothing with a good old hit of your favorite drug will crop up in the mind. These cravings and temptations will start out slow and subtle, but can quickly grow into raging monsters that demand satisfaction. You must face them with a solid head and firm footing, knowing that they are powerful and must be taken seriously.
Have a Plan for Facing the Bad Days
The best way to maintain confidence in the face of the adversity you will face, whether it’s from cravings or from unsupportive or judgmental people, is to have a plan for how you’ll respond. Know what a craving or trigger looks and feels like, and have a plan for what you will do or say (or who you will call) when that occurs. The same goes for hateful people who will try to drag you down. Know that they are only fighting their own inner struggle and have a plan for how you will respond to this aggression both externally and internally. You’ll need to reinforce your own commitments and sense of confidence after facing down these aggressors in life.
It’s important to stay strong and positive as a recovering addict, and we encourage only the best and most cheerful surroundings for you. However, the realities of life must be acknowledged and confronted. Remember that the enemy is addiction and it’s always out there. Be ready at all times to solidify your rightful claim to your own health, wellbeing, and sobriety.
For assistance in any stage of addiction recovery, contact the team at
Hired Power by calling 800-910-9299.