Overcoming the initial hurdle of substance use disorder can feel like the finish line, but maintaining that sobriety also has its own set of hurdles. It is important to recognize this and continuously seek support from our close friends and family. Once we are successful in our early recovery, we may feel a little lost as to what steps to take next. Having plans in place to prevent relapse is key to fostering lifelong recovery.
Returning to the WorkPlace
Entering back into society after treatment can feel overwhelming. After spending a significant amount of time focused on overcoming our addictions, it is easy to feel like we are living in a bubble. This bubble can be easily popped by reality. Having plans in place to prevent such bubbles from bursting is a great way to sustain our recovery.
The Drug-Free Workplace Toolkit is a great tool to ensure that returning to work does not interfere with recovery. If there are any legal requirements regarding a drug-free workplace that one has to adhere to, this toolkit helps highlight the laws that protect such workplace environments. In addition, this tool is helpful overall, no matter the situation, to help keep workplaces free from drugs and lower the chances of relapse. If it is unclear whether a workplace is drug-free, it is helpful to ask a manager, and if not, potentially suggesting implementing a system in place is great.
Join a Support Group
One of the best plans we can have in place is constant support. Finding a support group in our area that fits the personal criteria we want in a support group is crucial. These groups enable everyone to talk about their feelings, relate to similar struggles, learn how to manage their triggers, and encourage one another to be the best version of themselves. By surrounding ourselves with like-minded people who want the same things as us, we are setting our recovery up for success.
There are a plethora of resources regarding drug and alcohol recovery, and it can be helpful to stay informed.
Create a Daily Schedule
It may have felt like our lives were chaotic during the substance use, and it may not be conducive to our recovery to continue with a chaotic lifestyle. Taking the little stressors out, like deciding what to do at the drop of a hat, can help redirect our energy elsewhere, to somewhere more productive. Writing out a daily schedule of what needs to get done in our days can help keep up focused and on track with sobriety and in life in general.
Setting the alarm to wake up at a certain time, making our bed, eating breakfast, and going outside for some fresh air are all things that can significantly help us stay on track. These tasks may seem mundane but can create a lasting impact on how we function in society after treatment.
Establish a Consistent Therapist
Recovery is both incredible and, at times, can be difficult, and that is okay. Becoming vulnerable enough to the change of recovery can bring up past or current traumas that should not be dealt with alone. Finding a therapist that is right for the individual can help create long-lasting recovery. Some services offer accessible therapy, and there are always professionals waiting and willing to help.
Know Your Triggers
As someone freshly out of recovery, it may take a while before we realize what our substance use triggers are. Some obvious ones would be places with obvious alcohol, like bars. Other triggers may not be that apparent. Someone in one’s life may create a great amount of stress without realizing it. An option could be to sit that person down and explain the situation and see if there is a way to change the dynamic in favor of one’s recovery. If that is not an option, then it may be a good idea to distance oneself from the individual.
Celebrate the Small Victories
It can be easy to be tough on ourselves while we are in recovery, but something to remember is that we have already accomplished something amazing! We have improved our lives, and it is okay to celebrate that! Substance use can stem from things like stress and anxiety. Sometimes anxiety can stem from every task, like going to the store alone. Once in recovery, try again to go to the store alone; it is okay if you can not, but if you succeed, celebrate! These little celebrations can help build confidence and put us back on track to a successful life!
Starting your new life in recovery is filled with unlimited possibilities and potential! It is important to recognize the accomplishment and also be aware of the risks in life that can jeopardize your sobriety. Creating and implementing plans for your life can help reduce the risk of relapse and fuel your opportunity to live your best life. There may always be hurdles along the way, but being able to fall back on these systems is the best way to successfully push through them. Find comfort and support in family and close friends. Overcoming substance use is something that you should be proud of and want to protect! Prioritize your mental health and sobriety, and never hesitate to reach out if you feel yourself slipping. It may feel like an uphill battle at times, but it is nothing that a little rope and harness can not help. Call (949) 435-7449 today!