Completing a residential or outpatient treatment program can be very exciting, and you may be feeling like you can take on the world. But it is important to remember that early recovery is still a crucial time and the risk of relapse is high. Transitioning back home and integrating back into the community or work can be a lot of change to handle at once. Some people do better at managing this than others. It is important to take steps to support your recovery and continue progressing forward as you tackle new challenges.
Continue attending support group meetings.
Connecting with others who understand what you are going through and who are a positive influence can be very beneficial in early recovery. Find out when and where local meetings are held so you can plan to attend. Go every day if that is what you need. As you become more confident and establish a healthy routine, you may decide to cut back on the frequency, but it’s still a good idea to continue attending. Regular therapy sessions can be helpful as well.
Create a safe environment.
Make sure that when you head home, there are no drugs or alcohol where you are staying. Remove any paraphernalia as well that could trigger temptation. Family members, roommates, significant others, and friends should also respect that you need to be a in substance-free environment. Some people find that residing in a sober living community is a good transitional step and helps them to adjust more effectively. Decide what works best for you and where you should be living in early recovery.
It is tempting to want to jump right back in to the things you did before and pick up where you left off. However, remember that part of recovery is making changes. Pace yourself when it comes to assuming more responsibility. You don’t want to feel overwhelmed. Your top priority should be your recovery. It can take time to learn how to balance this with other activities. Remember that it’s okay to say no; know your limits and what you can comfortably handle.
Develop a routine.
Knowing what to expect, having things to look forward to, and not having too much down time can help you stay focused in early recovery. Try new things and figure out what interests and motivates you. Put your efforts into learning a new hobby to help push through cravings and negative thoughts. And even though you may think it best to just seclude yourself to avoid temptation, socializing with others can boost your mental health and self-esteem. Just make sure you’re spending time with people who support your lifestyle of recovery.