Being in a treatment center is such a nontoxic and safe environment. Once it’s time to leave, it can be frightening; what is there to expect after leaving rehab? You have to be aware that there may be temptation to use or drink once you leave treatment, so I suggest being prepared for certain things before you leave.
What To Expect After Rehab: Out Of The Safety Bubble
You are no longer in what most people like to call “the safety bubble.” You are being reintroduced to the real world. Whether you are in halfway (which I recommend after rehab) or back at home, you are no longer being supervised 24/7 like you were in treatment. It can be a hard adjustment, a lot of people go into treatment so frequently that they even become institutionalized. The real world can be a big change after rehab, but us alcoholic and addicts are stronger than we realize and can get through anything.
What To Expect After Rehab: Responsible For Your Own Decisions
Once you have left rehab, you need to realize that you are now going to be responsible for the decisions you make. You’re sober now, so you are expected to do the next right thing and take responsibility. It does take time and it will help if you keep your support system close and take advice from others. When I first got sober it was hard for me to realize I am an adult now and need to act like one.
What To Expect After Rehab: Go to Meetings
To stay sober, you will need to go to AA, NA or CA meetings. I suggest getting a home group and making friends in the rooms. Having a home group and supports in meetings teaches you to be accountable. You can pick up a commitment like making coffee, greeting people or chairing the meeting. Home group members also end up being a good support group and will call if you stop coming around!
What To Expect After Rehab: Get a Sponsor
Get a sponsor and work your steps. A sponsor is someone who can teach you how to live your new sober life, a person to look up to. My sponsor made sure to take me through the 12 steps as quickly and thoroughly as possible so I could start helping people. A sponsor is a great person to call if you are unsure or feel like using or drinking, they can be one of your best supports.
What To Expect After Rehab: Don’t Forget To Have Fun
We didn’t get sober to continue being miserable. Make sure you surround yourself with good people and make good decisions. Go out and have fun with your sober friends! There is so much to do without having to get drunk or high. I’ve had more fun being sober than I ever did getting high; and the great part is I remember it all! I’m in recovery because I was very unhappy with my life in active addiction, it is okay to have fun now that I finally am happy!
If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll free 1-800-951-6135.