Life in general is a complex process punctuated by both good days and bad.
This is true for everyone including people that are in recovery from substance addiction. Still, there are subtle nuances that makes getting used to sober life after addiction a hint more edgy.
For instance, life can literally hang in the balance if a relapse occurs after a period of abstinence. This sad reality of has been repeatedly played out in secret as well as in the media. American actor Philip Seymour Hoffman is just one example of someone who experienced a fatal relapsed after maintaining sobriety for years.
For those that have taken the powerful first step out of addiction by completing a drug or alcohol rehab program, learning how to adapt to life as a recovering addict now becomes the new challenge. Since, according to addiction experts, there’s no clear way to tell who will fall prey to a relapse, it is always best to assume that it can happen to you and live proactively to prevent it. Getting used to sober-life after addiction literally means learning to recognize potential pitfalls and making the innumerable big or small decisions that will support long term sobriety.
How to Cope with Early Sobriety
The following are some helpful suggestions that may ease the transition from initial reintegration into everyday life to getting used to living a drug free lifestyle.
- Recovery is a shared process that is reinforced by a number of support systems such as having a sober coach, participating in one-on-one therapy or alumni and group meetings. Frequent utilization of these support systems in their different capacities eventually becomes habituated and a natural part of the sobriety journey.
- Establishing new habits such as incorporating yoga, meditation and daily exercise that encourage a drug free lifestyle as well as enhance mental and physical health help to make getting used to staying sober easier.
- Developing friendships that are far removed from your substance abuse lifestyle means engaging in activities that help rather than hinder your sobriety goals.
- Relapse prevention education and training is an ongoing process whose tools and techniques should be built into everyday life. For instance, being aware of relapse triggers, knowing exactly what to do to stop them before they become a problem may at first take some getting used to, but overtime can begin to occur natural.
It is important to do everything possible to support your new found sobriety. Getting creative about building relapse prevention skill and habits into everyday life makes it easier to get used to life after addiction. Maintaining sobriety is best approached as embarking on a new stage of life as opposed to the continuation of the old negative patterns of behavior that brought you into addiction in the first place. Incorporating fun and adventure part of the process of staying clean and sober is a day to day challenge that leads to continuous growth and development even if a temporary lapse occurs. That’s when life after addiction becomes a positive story that can make a difference in the life of the addict, their loved ones and others.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.