You made it through detox. You may have days, weeks, or months of sobriety under your belt. Life After Detox, now what? Now the work begins. You will have to learn how to maintain your sobriety without the constant support of facility staff or daily group therapies. Being uncertain and nervous about how you will stay sober after going back to your daily life after detox is normal.
You may need to unlearn old behaviors while simultaneously learning new ways to cope with stressful situations. All the moving parts have the potential to be overwhelming. Once you gain new tools or learn how to use the ones you have in a new way, what used to seem stressful becomes just another situation that needs your attention and is managed.
Tools You Will Need in Recovery, in your Life After Detox
While going through treatment you learned new ways of coping with stress in healthy ways, free of alcohol or drugs. Life after treatment will look very different as you learn to replace your old habits with the healthier tools you’ve learned. Below are a few of the new tools you may need to deal with stress in your daily life outside of the treatment center.
Recognize Your Triggers
People, places, and things can carry emotional energy for you when you are working on recovery. When you begin to recognize what or who makes you angry or stressed, you can better control your emotions toward them. Recognizing your triggers can take practice. Journaling after stressful situations is an excellent way to identify, track, and internally resolve how you were triggered and positive solutions to handle that particular trigger when a similar problem occurs later.
Avoid People and Places You Associate With Substance Use
You have gone to great trouble and completed enormous internal work to earn your sobriety. Life After Detox is not so easy. Placing yourself in the wrong environment can potentially destroy all your hard work due to one wrong decision or a few misplaced minutes. You reduce your chances of being triggered when you actively avoid the people you used or drank with and the places that make you remember your substance use.
Create a Structured Routine
When you create a daily routine for yourself, you take control of your day and your destiny. When a person has a sense of control, they can focus and be more productive instead of worrying about all the “what if’s” that have the potential to derail their success. A lack of structure can make your life unmanageable. Once you establish structure in your life, long and short-term goals can be planned.
Create New Habits
Although there seems to be a conflicting opinion on the length of time it takes for a person to form new habits, the consensus seems to be that it generally takes between 21 and 66 days. The length of time depends on if an individual is willing to engage in the activity daily.
An example of this would be developing the habit of exercising. In an ideal world, you may be able to engage in your exercise routine every day without fail. You will find that life will get in the way, and some days will be better than others. In the beginning, you may not even enjoy moving any further than the couch, and that’s okay. Everybody is different. If it takes longer for your healthier habits to develop, that’s okay. There is no race to win.
Staying Sober is Tough—But So Are You
There will always be challenges in your recovery journey. Life is complicated, messy, and beautiful, all rolled up in one. You do not have to white-knuckle your way into sobriety.
When things get hard, remember the moment that caused you to wake up and not want to live “that life” anymore. Never forget the pit of pain you fell into daily when you could not get your drug of choice. Moreover, remember the pure discomfort of withdrawal and waking up.
Remember everything you have done for yourself that led up to the moment of sobriety you are in now. Be proud of yourself. Your journey has been challenging, but you continue to persevere like the true warrior you are. If you do not feel that you have all the tools you need, open up your heart, mind, and tool belt and seek out new skills—skills that may even take you far away from your comfort zone.
Being uncomfortable will pass with practice
Sobriety is gained second by second and minute by minute until those minutes become days, then those days become weeks, and weeks become years.
When you are having a hard time, look in the mirror and tell yourself how proud you are to have come this far in sobriety and although you might be having a hard time right now, you are going to earn your membership in the “No Matter What” club, that club where you vow to take the steps to remain sober no matter what.
You are sober for you. You are stronger than your cravings. Use the tools you learned in treatment in your journey of recovery.
Learning to navigate everyday life can be challenging. You may need to learn new coping methods and educate yourself more about relapse triggers in order to cope under stress or when you have a bad day. Finding new ways to maintain your sobriety can be difficult. You don’t have to find the tools by yourself. Become part of a supportive community that understands your struggles. Twilight’s all-inclusive centers strive to provide an environment where you can relax in luxurious peace and heal past traumas. You will be able to let go and focus on yourself through person-centered, holistic therapies. These therapies will help you release any negative energies that have prevented you from becoming the best version of yourself. Everyday life is chaotic. Why not provide yourself with a calm, relaxing environment? Forget the chaos of your daily life for a few weeks? Call us at (888) 414-8183.