When fighting addiction, rehab can provide the perfect environment for helping you recover. You’re surrounded by people that want to help you and you don’t have any of the temptations of the outside world.
Of course, eventually, you’ll have to check out of rehab. This means returning to your life beforehand where there are likely to be many temptations and less readily available support. It’s important that this return to normality doesn’t also involve a return to addiction. Below are just some of the biggest things that cause people to relapse and how you can fight to stay sober.
Lack of support from family members
Some people recovering from an addiction are lucky enough to have the full support of family members. However, for many people, this isn’t the case. If you fell out with family members before checking into rehab, there’s a chance they may still be reluctant to forgive and forget. Even if you went to rehab voluntarily, they may not believe that you have the power to change and they may continue to turn their back on you. This rejection can cause some people to relapse out of spite.
It is not your job to try and win over your family’s support. Instead of trying to prove to them that you have changed, prove to yourself that you have changed. Focus on staying sober in order to make yourself proud. With time, it will become easier to build a bridge with your family. Try to let them come around on their own.
Lack of support from friends
Your friends may not always be able to support you either. Some of your former friends may still be addicts themselves. You could find that they are a bad influence – even if they’re not peer pressuring you into drinking or taking drugs, you may find yourself tempted into returning to your old habits while hanging around them. It may seem like the only way to re-establish that bond you once had, or possibly the only way to fit in.
Although it can be difficult to do, consider cutting off ties with these friends until they are recovering themselves. You’re better off trying to form new friendships with fellow recovering addicts. This could include people you met in rehab or people that you are able to meet at local support groups who have been through the same struggles. These are the types of people that will be able to relate to what you’re going through and they will offer you the support you need.
Coping with day-to-day stress and boredom
Drugs or alcohol can be a way of relieving stress or alleviating boredom for many people. When you return to your normal life after checking out of rehab, you may find it difficult to fill the void. After dealing with a chain of stressful events, you may find that the temptation to rely on alcohol or drugs is too great. Alternatively, if you find yourself alone with nothing to do, it could also be very easy to relapse.
It’s important that you find a healthy addiction that can fill the void. Some people throw all their energy into exercise, craft hobbies, reading, or music. You may even be able to get a high out of healthy addictive foods or cooking. These habits can serve as healthy stressbusters and healthy boredom-breakers instead of turning to substances like drugs and alcohol. If you are still struggling, reach out to counselors and fellow recovering addicts.
Changing your entire lifestyle
You may find it difficult to stay clean while keeping up your old lifestyle. As already mentioned, your former circle of friends may be a bad influence. However, it is not just your friends that could prove to be a trigger, but also the places you used to visit and the activities you used to do. For example, if you’re recovering alcoholic, going to bars and planning entire weekends around drinking may not be an option anymore.
Having to change your entire lifestyle isn’t easy, but it can definitely be done. You’ll have to re-evaluate what is important. Try to seek out the support of fellow recovering addicts who may be having to do the same thing and consider planning out activities together. You may be able to throw yourself into a new hobby together. Now could also be the time to rediscover old healthy hobbies and interests that may have been ended by your addiction such as sports or art.