Once rehab has ended, entering society as a sober individual can be tough. Anxiety will be present as one tries to imagine their new life without alcohol. While long term sobriety is the aim, relapse is always a possibility, but there are a handful of things that you can do to help stay on the sober path without drugs or alcohol. Not everyone overcomes their cravings the same way, but there are enough options available to ensure that a sober individual has choices to keep them sober.
Be Mindful of Complacency:
This is when a person in recovery gets stuck in a routine that is just barely keeping them away from alcohol. Rather than personally growing, their progress reaches a plateau. It is possible that meeting are still being attended, but there is no notable growth. Unchecked, this can lead to relapse which is why continuous, positive growth is vital to recovery. Being aware of this potential complacency is one of the best ways to ensure that you are continually growing while your recovery becomes stronger. Positive personal growth can act like a buffer against having a relapse.
Figure Out Your Fun:
Once it has become routine to drink alcohol while out having fun, it may seem foreign to have fun without it. An active alcoholic needs alcohol to enjoy normal activities like watching sports or seeing a movie, rather than just during occasions that warrant it like going to a club. “Fun” might seem to go away for a while once in recovery, but this is the time that new hobbies can be discovered. The idea of what was once fun is now considered unnecessary, and the new fun is sober activities like hiking, knitting, or anything else. One this new journey, it is likely that you will make new friends that enjoy the same things.
After the necessary medical detox, it is vital to go into a treatment program. Treatment programs vary from person to person, based on the needs of the individual. Depending on the needs of the individual, this may be an out-patient plan or one that takes place in a treatment facility. The goal is long-term sobriety, and a good treatment program will help in uncovering what led you to alcohol abuse in the first place, and will teach you important skills in preventing a relapse. Don’t think that continued treatment is out of the question—many facilities offer financial assistance or grants to help addicts get the treatment that they need.
So many things can trigger a craving to drink—being angry, hungry, tired, or even lonely can lead to the want to drink and will catch you off guard. When you take care of your body inside and out, it is likely that you will be taking care of anything that could be triggering. When you eat right, get enough sleep, and regularly exercise, you will be doing right by your body and will reduce the chance that it will tell you that you need to have a drink of alcohol. Take time to indulge in yourself with things like a long relaxing bath, a face masque, or even just a nap.
Communicate With Your Support System:
Your support system can be family and/or friends, and keeping an open line of communication with them is a great way to make sure that you are making the right decisions day to day. Let them know how you are feeling, whether it be good or bad. Some people don’t know that even good feelings can trigger a relapse. With the open line of communication, you are building your relationships within the support system and being held accountable for making the right decisions. These are the people that you will rely on the most, so you all need to be on the same page.
It is likely that you will need to weed through your friends and stay away from those that might enable you to begin drinking again. This is so important, but might also leave you to feel lonely. Define your support group of close friends and family, and then reach out to them when you are feeling like you should drink because you have nothing better to do. Often times, former alcoholics don’t know what to do with their free time if they aren’t drinking. Pick up new hobbies and make new friends to help you adjust to being sober. Finding a job will also help with feeling a better self-worth and will help to keep you busy.
Use Your Second Chance:
Many times, individuals that are sober express their feelings that they are experiencing life for a second time. This time with more clarity and love than before. While it will be hard at first, eventually the volume is turned down on the obsession over sobriety. This is when it is vital to committing to building a healthy lifestyle. This entails eating nutritional meals, sleeping enough, and being physically active. You will then be able to take care of any health issues that were developed before or during the alcohol abuse. These habits can lead to an improved self-esteem and a reduced appeal of drugs and alcohol. Stress levels will become reduced, and mindfulness will help in maintaining your long-term recovery.
Combating alcohol addiction is more than just going to rehab. It is about rehab, detox, treatment plans, and a commitment to long term recovery. When you fully understand what needs to be done to truly be happy when you are on the road to recovery, you will feel less stress about the recovery overall. Overcoming the addiction will not happen overnight, and it is a lifelong battle. When your daily habits reflect your choices to live sober, each step gets closer and closer. Never forget that there is a small team of people that is always rooting for your success—lean on them when it is necessary. Overcoming alcohol cravings are not always easy, but they are doable.
Sasha Brown is a widely experienced content writer with a zeal for living naturally. As a Certified Herbalist and mother of one who loves to garden, she can offer you simple solutions on how to achieve a healthier lifestyle. She also writes for http://howtonight.com/ magazine.