Life After Recovery:
What a Recovering Addict can Do to Build Stability in Sobriety
Perhaps one of the greatest misconceptions about addiction, rehabilitation, and recovery is that the fight against addiction ends the moment one walks out the front doors of a treatment center after successfully completing a rehab program. This is not the case, and likely never has been. In fact, completing a rehab program and entering back into life in the real world is just the beginning of a new chapter of life, a new set of challenges and obstacles that one must overcome.
When one is addicted to drugs and alcohol, they face two challenges, not just one. They must:
- Get off of drugs and alcohol (this is the obvious one).
But there is also:
- Staying off of drugs and alcohol. This is the one we often do not give enough attention to.
Life after rehab can be flush with rewarding experiences, newfound joy, better careers, better relationships, and healthier experiences. However, there can be a plethora of struggles and difficulties that one faces in life after rehab, struggles and risks that make staying off of drugs and alcohol just that much more difficult.
Holding Back the Risk of Relapse
Without sounding too philosophical, one could say that mankind is molded by his experiences, his present shape a summation of all his prior experiences leading up to this moment. With that in mind, we can see how past drug use or alcohol misuse would be an influence on a person, would change them, and would possibly impact them later on in life.
Though a person can absolutely break free from the devastation of addiction and the horrors attendant to it, that lifestyle will always remain in one’s past. One must always be mindful of it and know what to do to maintain their sobriety.
What Recovering Individuals can Do to Stay Sober
When recovering addicts overcome addiction and strive forwards into a renewed life of vigor and excitement, their primary focus becomes one of maintaining their newfound freedom from drugs and alcohol. Strategies and lifestyles that recovering addicts can apply to their day-to-day lives to make recovery that much easier are:
- Commit to healthy living. Recovering addicts would do well to eat well, to take lots of vitamins and supplements, and to get plenty of exercise. Drug abuse and alcohol misuse have a devastating effect on the human body and, while a recovering addict’s rehab program likely did a great deal to heal the body, there is still much work to do. Eating well and staying active helps purify the body and build stability in one’s recovery.
- Work on you every day. Regular and continued self-improvement while in recovery from addiction is a must. Recovering addicts should do something every day in their post-rehab lives to improve themselves, be it engaging with others in a sober community, reading enlightening and helpful books, keeping a journal, taking a class, attending church, etc.
- Help others. Few activities are more healing, more soothing, or more beneficial to one’s recovery than spending time in the service of others. Recovering addicts are often persons who spent a great deal of time harming those around them. They often want to give back and repair some of that damage. Volunteering one's time is a great way to not only accomplish a good cause but to build stability in sobriety as a result.
The road to everlasting abstinence is one paved with hard work and continuous effort. There is no magic bullet for removing all traces of addiction from one’s life. However, with the right rehab program to help a person and a followup of the right actions and lifestyle choices, anyone can break free from the shackles of addiction.