Leaving rehab can be a little scary. Keeping up with sobriety in a place where that is the entire focus is manageable. But keeping up with sobriety once you leave and go back to normal life can be much harder. Work stress, family stress, and social pressures can all challenge your sobriety. Try to follow up with therapy to keep your goal in mind. It’ll be important to make some significant lifestyle changes as well. You may even need to find a new social group to hang out with. And finally, keep yourself busy because being bored can be a trigger for many people. Hopefully, you’ll be able to come home from rehab and continue your journey of sober living.
Leaving Rehab: Set Yourself Up for Success in Sobriety
Follow Up Therapy
One important thing to plan for when leaving rehab is follow-up therapy. Sobriety will likely be a lifetime struggle for you. But the reward is so high that it’s worth it. But there will be times when you are tempted to drink. In fact, you are most likely to relapse within the first six months after leaving rehabilitation. To prevent this, seek therapy once you come home. Find an intensive outpatient therapy or a 12 step program like Alcoholics Anonymous to attend. This will help keep you focused and give you an outlet to connect with others going through the same thing.
It’s likely that after leaving the rehab you’ll need to make some pretty significant lifestyle changes. You want your home to be a safe place, so get rid of any alcohol or illegal substances. If your spouse drinks, consider asking them to abstain while you are fresh out of recovery. Or ask them only to drink outside the home and with other people. Part of your rehab will likely be figuring out what your specific triggers are. They might be specific people, places, or stressors. You’ll need to make some lifestyle changes to avoid these things so that you aren’t triggered to start drinking again.
For many people leaving rehab, a new social group is a necessity. If you are coming from a group that puts a lot of focus on drinking and partying, you really should avoid seeing them. Unless they’re willing to support you with your sober living, they will most likely be a trigger. See if you can find a new group that is supportive of your goals. There are meetup groups that you can find that specifically cater to sober activities.
Finally, after leaving rehab, it’s important to keep yourself busy. Recovering alcoholics often find that boredom is a major trigger for them. If you’re bored at home, there’s not really anything to distract you from your desire to drink. Therefore, it’s important to keep yourself busy and have a goal for each day. It’s especially important to make sure and stay busy if there are certain parts of the day that make you want to drink more. For example, if a cocktail hour is difficult for you, plan to find an exercise class for that time.
Coming home from rehab is something to be proud of and to celebrate. But it’s not the time to get too relaxed about your sobriety. In fact, the first weeks and months home can be the hardest for many recovering alcoholics. After leaving rehab, plan to continue intense therapy or treatment for a long time. You might even be in treatment or attending meetings for the rest of your life. Make lifestyle changes to help you avoid triggers. In addition, you might need to meet some new friends who will be supportive of your goals. And finally, keep yourself busy. Hopefully, you’ll come home from rehab and be able to continue your sober living without too much difficulty. Remember that the rewards for giving up alcohol are well worth the struggles.