Leaving your treatment program is at once exciting and a little nerve-wracking. After staying within the safe walls of your treatment center, it can be a little scary to test your sobriety by re-entering the real world. While it is normal to be slightly shaky as you head off down the road to recovery, it is important to remember that you are never alone in your journey. In fact, focusing on these tenants of sobriety helps you set your new life up in a way that promotes the best chances for a successful recovery.
Accountability Helps You Overcome Cravings
For most people struggling with addiction, leaving treatment means being thrust back into the same world where they started using drugs or alcohol. It is not uncommon to run into old friends or experience a stressful situation that triggers those unwanted cravings. While you cannot control everything that happens after you leave treatment, you can drastically reduce the amount of temptation you face by staying in a sober living house as you make your transition out of treatment. There, programs such as drug testing and mentorships allow you to be accountable for your actions so that you are less tempted to stray from your new path.
Structure Helps You Stay On Track With Your New Lifestyle
During your treatment you learned how to live a better lifestyle through adherence to a daily routine. Waking up, eating meals and going to bed at similar times every day help you to maintain balance. It is also helpful for your sobriety to know that you are expected to be home at a certain time so that you don’t even consider staying out late at the bar. Scheduling in regular times for workouts and recreational activities also helps you keep the routine that makes it possible to avoid falling back into the patterns of your addiction. Therefore, it is important to plan your new daily schedule for when you leave treatment so that you can maintain the same standards of living that helped you get clean.
Sharing Your Story Reinforces the Benefits of Sober Living
Graduating from your treatment program is a momentous occasion that lets you know you have made progress. Yet, it is common to feel stuck in a rut after treatment since sobriety means endless days of working hard to battle against your addiction. This is why service to others is such an important tenet of sobriety. As you work through your aftercare program, you gain strength and experiences that are helpful to others. Make sure that you are in a place where you can share your story and work toward being a role model for future friends who need help after they leave treatment. Making positive contributions to your sober living community reinforces the benefits that you receive every time you make the decision to avoid using drugs or alcohol.
Learning to live a sober lifestyle takes time, and it is important to remember that no one ever fully overcomes addiction. Instead, you will use the strategies that you learned in your treatment program along with the support network provided by your sober living community to stay strong in the face of adversity. By making sobriety a normal part of your lifestyle, you become part of the continuing cycle of helping others fight addiction beyond the walls of the treatment center.