With addiction comes loss. This loss can take shape in many ways – divorce, getting fired, losing custody of children, homelessness, and loss of self-worth, just to name a few. The first step in rebuilding from addiction is getting back on the right track is going to a treatment facility like Lighthouse Recovery Institute where you can detox in a supervised environment, focus on yourself, and learn how to live your life without depending on substances.
Inpatient rehab is a wonderful starting point, but there is still a lot that needs to be done after your stay is complete and you are ready to re-integrate into the real world. Chances are high that a path of destruction was left in your wake prior to rehab. Now is the time to make amends, fix what you can, and move on.
Start in Treatment
As addicts, we tend to have a very short-term way of thinking. Try to use the down time in rehab to start figuring out what your plan is once you are out. Most rehab centers offer assistance with legal matters, for example, so if you are dealing with anything such as a DUI or beyond, make sure the correct person knows and you can begin working on making things right as soon as possible. The same person can also help you to find doctors to follow up with upon leaving treatment, and sober living housing if that is an option for you.
Another important thing to make a firm decision on is where you will live once you leave treatment. If you are in a situation where you need to return to where you lived previously, then meeting with your therapist to discuss coping skills to prevent relapse is a good idea. If you can move, it is strongly suggested to live in a sober living environment to keep building up the strength of your sobriety. A change of scenery is always recommended, because if you go right back to where you were getting drunk or high chances are that you will begin engaging in those behaviors again
Build Your Army
After rehab, it is important to start building up your support system immediately. Speak to loved ones about your boundaries and how they can help you. If AA/NA meetings help you, go to a meeting the day you leave rehab and start building connections and finding a sponsor. The more sober, positive people you have in your life the more protected your sobriety will be. Cut ties with the people you used to drink and drug with, or at least keep them at arm’s length until you have all the tools you need to face them and say no if they offer alcohol or drugs to you.
Many people leave rehab jobless, and it is important to get back into the swing of things as soon as possible. Begin by putting yourself out there as soon as you can. Some rehabs will even let you hop on the computer in a supervised environment and begin job searching before you leave. Polish up your resume, get on job sites like Indeed.com and Careerbuilder.com and start going to local businesses in person to aggressively find work. Even if you are an ex-marketing exec handing their resume in at the local McDonald’s, remember that something is better than nothing, you need to re-start somewhere, and bigger and better jobs will come. With work comes responsibility and accountability, two things that are key in early sobriety to keep you on track.
The weeks and even months right out of rehab are an incredibly humbling time. Embrace it, learn from it and take it as a life lesson not to take things for granted. You have gone months, years, or decades getting through life with the crutch of your drug of choice, and no you are re-entering the world sober. Whatever comes your way, take it on with clear eyes, a calm heart, and the knowledge that you will be in a better place than you ever thought you could be.