Completing a rehabilitation program is a huge achievement. No longer having an addiction looming over you, as well as being able to see the other side after what might have consumed years of your life can seem like a relief. However, it is also understandable the thought of moving on with your life could seem quite daunting.
Whilst the process of rehabilitation will have helped you to detoxify your body, treat the causes of addiction and significantly improve your health, addiction is a mental illness which can stay with an individual beyond rehabilitation.
The real challenge you will face next is how to integrate back into everyday life, be that getting a new job, moving back home or seeing family and friends again.
Often when individuals complete a rehabilitation program, they suffer to face up to the damage their addiction has caused. This could include having to apologise to friends and family or loved ones, having to find a new job and perhaps even making new friends. This pressure and sudden change in environment can threaten a relapse, particularly as addiction so easily returns when alcohol and drugs are readily available. Moving away from your old lifestyle can seem like the most obvious way to escape from the temptation of returning to your addiction habits.
It is very common to want to start fresh, away from the memories of addiction, but this is a huge undertaking so must be treated carefully and with a good support network - to ensure there is no danger of relapse.
Sober Living can provide this support network. Specially designed to support patients who have recently exited or are nearing the end of a rehabilitation program, sober living houses (SLH) can allow you the opportunity to start fresh amongst like-minded individuals, with the help of professionals with years of experience. These centres were created to help many individuals who suffer from many types of addiction, and are designed to ensure a successful recovery. They also offer the perfect transition post-addiction, allowing you to socialise and live a normal life alcohol and drug-free before returning to mainstream society.
No-one says being clean and sober after years of addiction is easy, so don’t expect it to be. Commitment and dedication to your new way of living will really help your wellbeing – both physically and mentally.
As well as moving away from a drug or alcohol-related lifestyle, it is important to attend aftercare and look after your mental wellbeing. If ever you feel the need to start drinking or using, speak to your support network (professional or not) and let them help you. Many research studies have shown that many relapses occur soon after release from a rehabilitation program, so taking advantage of all the support around you. Particularly if you have access to an aftercare program, making the most of it will help you to surpass this stage, and have a more likely chance of staying sober.