Although getting sober is the first and easiest step in the recovery process, the most difficult part is staying sober. Moreover, it’s where most people fail. Making huge goals after rehab may sound like a brilliant idea. Nonetheless, there’s need to take small steps when celebrating one’s sobriety.
Remember that relapse is a real possibility. The good news is that one can use positive will to improve their chances of getting sober and staying sober. Here are simple steps on how to stay sober.
Build a Support Community
Lasting recovery requires a connection. There’s need to find people who are on a similar path to share one’s experience and walk together. Communicating with those who went to rehab can also help one stay sober. Some support groups offer the 12-step or various recovery programs that are available as aftercare at a treatment center or an intensive outpatient treatment center.
Create a Daily Routine
Having a daily schedule is essential as it helps one stay on track with their discharge plan and helps them avoid anxiety. Their plan should include family time, social time, community support meetings, sleep, diet, and time with a therapist or doctor. Create a plan that does not leave one overwhelmed or stressed out. Make sure to end the day by reading a motivation book or by meditating to make one’s journey a priority.
Enlist the Support of Family
Involving one’s family in the recovery plan can help one stay sober. Talk to the family about the journey and what they expect to accomplish to enjoy sobriety. Let them know that recovery won’t happen overnight and that they have to learn how to be patient. Also, they need to have realistic expectations and take each day as it comes.
Their family can also help one create a safe home environment. They can do this by throwing away anything that may cause their relapse whether it’s alcohol or pain meds. Furthermore, they can ensure that they create a safe plan to land by creating a substance-free environment.
Know Their Triggers
A trigger could be anything that makes one want to go back to their old habits. This could be driving near a drug dealer’s house, being with former friends, or allowing depression and anger to take over. Unknown to many, emotions can be triggers as they make it easy to see the drug as a means to cope. Remember that one is likely to encounter triggers along their recovery process. The difference is how one responds when they come face to face with these triggers.
Also, going to regular support meetings can help one keep going when all they want is to quit. Furthermore, one get to hear other people’s struggles and how they’ve learned to cope and adjust after rehab.
Avoid Significant Changes
Big chances could lead one to a relapse. When recovering, a person has gone through a lot and adding some major changes afterward could be a stressor. Remember in their first year of sobriety; you’re still trying to get things in order both in their mental and physical functioning. Research estimates that it can take up to five years to get their brain to return to 100% functioning. Take small steps and appreciate each day as it comes.
Stay Away From Unsupportive Friends
After rehab, you’re likely to encounter friends who still want one to hang out in the old spots and enjoy a beer. It’s best not to hang out with these people just yet. Trying to convince them won’t work, and you shouldn’t stress themselves about it. When called, explain to them that time to oneself and that you’ll get in touch when ready. Stay away from friends who are likely to contribute to their relapse.
In rehab, you were probably used to attending private and public sessions, and entertainment was a foreign word. However, once a person is out, there’s need to take time out to explore different things. Swimming, zip lining, kayaking, snorkeling, or playing ball are all excellent activities. Some organizations have fun events in a sober environment. Be sure to check these out, and learn to have fun sober.
These are just some of the steps you can take to stay sober after rehab. Following these steps can help one prevent relapse and enjoy the fun parts of being sober.