22 Feb How to build a strong foundation for sobriety after drug rehab
By no means is sobriety easy for someone who has struggled with addiction. Sometimes, no matter how dedicated you are, difficulties arise. If you have battled addiction, you will know. For people on the outside, it may seem like the fight has ended, but truthfully, the road is far longer than we think. Saying this, it is not impossible. Fears of relapse are very real but knowing how to stay motivated and where to seek proper emotional support is key.
We have helped with many successful recoveries at our Bali rehab facility, and we would like to share our advice on building strong foundations in the strife for total sobriety. We know that the triggers are still out there, and it may feel like there is nowhere to turn at times. However, we know you have it in you to succeed. So, if you are dealing with addiction or know someone who is, take a moment to read through our advice.
Always remind yourself why you are doing this
Nobody likes to recount the low points of their lives. It can bring back a lot of negative feelings, but this can be a positive driving force for staying clean post-rehab. Joining a rehabilitation program is a significant step, and there would have been much motivation for doing this. We aren’t telling you to dwell on your past mistakes, but you should always try to remember how your journey to full sobriety began. Who or what was the turning point in making this life-changing decision? If you are feeling a lack of motivation or an increase in temptation, start by reminding yourself of this tremendous turning point in your life.
Upkeeping routine, structure, and healthy habits
Routine and structure – Maintaining routines is vital in recovery. When routine begins to slip, the temptation can heighten. If you have been to rehab, think back to how your days were spent. Create a schedule for your day and stick with it. Procrastination, late nights, and lying in bed can be a slippery slope. If you find yourself sitting around, find an activity to keep your mind busy. Set yourself daily goals and write a to-do list.
Healthy habits – As well as a good sleeping pattern, remember to maintain healthy habits. For example, make yourself a nutritious meal or walk around the park. If you feel stuck for something to do, use the internet to look for sports and activities in your area. There will always be something you will enjoy. This isn’t limited to sports either; find something creative to do. All of these things can instil a sense of purpose and pride. Motivation creates motivation; when you find things you love doing, you will always find more.
Avoid bad habits – Identity what gives you a lack of motivation and learn to avoid it. If you have nothing to do, it can be easy to fall back into those bad habits. It might be a good idea to keep a backup list of activities you can turn to when you find yourself with too much free time.
Financial stability – Leaving rehab is a substantial achievement, but where do you go from there? All of the above can seem easier said than done, and we are very aware of that. If you are unemployed, starting to look for work is a good idea. To begin with, it doesn’t matter what it is; making your own money has incredible benefits. It is the best way to regain independence and feel in control of your life again. Having said that, it isn’t always easy. If you are relying on loved ones right now, it is important not to feel like a burden. They support you because they want to see you succeed.
Don’t shy away from support
Never forget that you are surrounded by people who are there to help you. They may not be with you now, but they are always a click or a phone call away. Whether it is friends, family, or your rehab clinic, there is always someone to turn to.
If things get too difficult, professional advice might be needed, but never underestimate the advice of someone who loves you. You have come on leaps and bounds for these people, and they know that.
Talk to others who feel the same
You would have experienced sharing your thoughts with others in a similar position during rehab. This has tremendous benefits as it is essential to feel united with others. The path to sobriety can feel lonely, so try to maintain regular conversation with others who have been through the same.
If you aren’t in touch with anyone from rehab, there are hundreds of online forums where you can chat with people and discuss whatever is on your mind or post anonymous questions if you feel it is something most people wouldn’t understand.
You should never get too busy to focus on the things you love. Don’t make recovery all about trying to excel above and beyond. Make sure you allow some downtime to focus on the things you enjoy. If you find your days passing by quickly as you look for employment, exercise, cook healthy food, or whatever it is you are doing to stay motivated and have no chance to relax, it might be a good idea to slow down a little. Allowing this space every day can save you from becoming stressed or feeling overworked. Keeping extremely busy might work well in the short term, but it can lead to relapse over time.
Learning to recognise your triggers
Being able to identify and avoid your triggers will increase your chances significantly. Triggers can be associated with people, places, or things that were frequent in your life before your road to recovery. If you ever feel like a situation gives you emotional distress, this is a sign that it could be something that could lead to relapse. They could include the following:
- Places you used to hangout
- Old friends that you associate with substance or alcohol use
- Money worries
- Ex partners
- Distressing situations
You should also make yourself aware of relapse warning signs. As you probably know, these include self-defeating and addictive thought patterns, looking for situations that involve drinking or drugs, irrational thinking, and deeming drugs or alcohol as a logical solution. Remember that relapse happens far before you reach for that fix, so understanding your triggers is crucial.
Be prepared for post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS)
PAWS can halt recovery if you don’t prepare. These withdrawals occur six months to two years after the detox period. The symptoms include depression, anxiety, irritability, fatigue and trouble sleeping. If this happens, it doesn’t mean losing the fight, or you haven’t kicked old habits. Unfortunately, this is part of the process for many people, but being ready will make you more prepared to see it through.
If they get too bad to handle, you should seek professional help. It can be a challenging time of the recovery process but getting through this is a giant step towards total sobriety.
Build a new social network
Relationships are a vital component of recovery. It is easy to feel lost when you leave rehab if your past relationships revolved around drinking or drug taking. Of course, revisiting these friends make it far more likely that you will relapse, but that doesn’t mean being a recluse.
It is also important to identify any negative relationships you have had in the past. You may have had someone in your life who wasn’t necessarily a drug dealer or drinking partner but someone who unknowingly enabled your old habits. Be mindful of hanging around with these people too.
You should make sure you surround yourself with positive people who share healthy interests. If you think that these people might not exist because they haven’t been in your life before, there are places to find them. You might want to start joining activities such as walking groups, book clubs, golfing, tennis, or whatever floats your boat. Thanks to the internet, finding something that suits you is super easy. The more activities you join, the more likely you will build a solid group of friends who can act as a great foundation for sobriety.
Learn to accept your past and feel comfortable about who you are. Dwelling on negative aspects of your life can bring you down and encourage emotional patterns that lead to relapse. Once you accept who you are and acknowledge how far you have come, the confidence will kick in and boost your motivation towards positive progression.
Hang on in there
If you or someone you love is suffering from alcohol or substance addiction, there is nothing wrong with asking for help. The road to recovery is challenging and requires multiple strategies to maintain motivation. If you need support or advice, contact Calm Rehab today. Don’t waste a moment and start the path to a future of sobriety.