Completing an addiction treatment program can be very empowering. You head back home feeling strong, motivated, and encouraged. It can be exciting – and a bit scary – to return to “normal life.” But it is important to remember that addiction recovery is an ongoing process and something that you will have to continue working on beyond formal treatment. There are several common mistakes that can derail early recovery if you aren’t vigilant.
- Not putting your recovery first.
Your recovery should be your top priority. That means making the conscious effort to avoid situations that may put it in jeopardy. If you don’t feel ready to go to a restaurant where there is alcohol, see certain people, or take on a demanding project, don’t. Be confident in standing up for yourself and doing what is best for your continued sobriety and well-being.
- Doing too much, too soon.
Take it slow. Jumping in full force can be overwhelming. While you may feel ready to take on the world and pick up where you left off, it’s better to ease back into things. Your body and mind are still adjusting to a substance-free lifestyle, and you’re still working on finding what works best for you. Slowly take on more commitments as you feel ready, and don’t overextend yourself.
- Falling into old routines.
Along the same lines, it can be easy to fall back into your old lifestyle and routines because that’s what you know best. But recovery involves creating new routines to reduce risk of relapse. While you have changed, the places you used to visit and people you used to hang out with probably haven’t – and that means they may be triggers. Focus on spending time with people who are a positive influence in your life and support your need for change.
- Isolating yourself.
You may decide that the best way to avoid tempting situations is just to stay home and keep to yourself until you’ve maintained your sobriety for a longer period of time. While this may seem like a great idea in theory, it can actually work against you. Isolation can lead to loneliness and boredom, which, as you likely learned in treatment, can lead to substance use and relapse. It is important to reintegrate yourself back into the community and socialize with others. Just be strategic in where you go, what you do, and who you choose to spend time with. Make sure your decisions align with your recovery plan and goals.
- Foregoing help.
You don’t have to go through recovery alone, trying to do everything on your own. You may feel as though you have already asked too much of the people around you while you were away in an addiction treatment program, but remember that they want to help and want to see you succeed. Know your limits and when to ask for – and accept – help from others. Whether it’s having someone watch your kids while you go to a support group meeting, asking a friend to join you in trying a new activity for the first time, or just having someone listen after you’ve had a rough day, it’s okay to turn to others for support.
Remember that recovery takes time, and so does rebuilding your life in sobriety. Seacliff can help you work through these transitions and feel more confident about moving forward. From detox through sober living, we’ve got you covered.