Addiction is a chronic illness which affects every aspect of one’s life. Choosing to seek assistance from a drug treatment center is an act of immense bravado. Life in a rehab is supported by addiction specialists, counselors, fellow inmates and many other people. However, once the treatment at a drug rehabilitation center is over, one enters early recovery. This phase is often challenging because a person is on their own. Re-entering the society as a sober individual is not easy. Some of the challenges faced by newly sober individuals are:
- Reconnecting with people – It is possible that when one was an active drug user, one had to forego many friendships and relationships because of their reckless use. During their addiction days, one was usually surrounded by people who used drugs and alcohol. During recovery, re-adjusting life and social circles to exclude such friends may be challenging. It is important to be around sober people who would support a person in their recovery goals. This is critical because getting connected with active users can easily lead to a relapse.
- Dealing with boredom and loneliness – Recovery is not just about stopping the use of drugs and alcohol, it is also about rebuilding life. When one stops using an addictive substance, one has a lot of free time. They might feel bored and lonely during those times and these feelings might act as a trigger for a relapse. One should recalibrate their focus on using their leisure time by either learning new skills, reviving old passions or keeping themselves busy to avoid feeling isolated and idle.
- Dealing with mood swings – When one self-medicates, feelings like depression, anger and irritation are shoved under the rug. However during recovery, these feelings might resurface upon the slightest of provocations. It is important to deal with these feelings as these might lead to a relapse. One can practice relaxation techniques like meditation, mindfulness and yoga, and continue visiting support groups and counseling to deal with such emotions. Just as negative feelings can prompt a relapse, so can positive feelings like immense joy and happiness. Going on a first date, getting a job, buying a home may also act as triggers. One must stay grounded and practice gratitude and resist the urge to use again.
- Dealing with holidays and festivities – Holidays are the times when there are several get-togethers and drinking becomes an inevitable part of the celebrations. Some people might also resort to using drugs. For a newly sober person, it is important to decline invitations to events or parties where substances will be used. One can still enjoy holidays by enlisting the support of their near and dear ones, visiting alcohol-free bars and by organizing parties where alcohol and drugs are neither served nor used.
- Dealing with stress of job and finances – For a newly sober person, it might be difficult and stressful to find a new job or even return to the previous one. In addition, maintaining a lifestyle may prove to be a financial burden. To overcome this, try engaging in social networking to find a suitable job and a reasonable housing facility. One can also practice calming techniques to relax the mind and remind oneself that everything happens eventually.
- Miscellaneous – Early recovery can also make a person feel shameful and guilty about their past behavior every now and then. It is important to accept such feelings and move on. In addition, many people turn to reckless dating and sex in early recovery. One should refrain from getting into such relationships as one still needs to figure out what they want from life. One should instead focus on reconnecting with friends and family and taking life as it comes.
Seeking help for addiction
Life is beautiful. One should understand that setbacks are an inevitable part of life and to truly enjoy living, one should move on without the aid of drugs or alcohol. If, however, one relapses or has a strong urge to use, one must get connected to a professional support service.
The Florida Drug Addiction Helpline can help you or someone you know in their struggles against addiction to substances. Call our 24/7 helpline – 855-982-2401 to gain access to the best drug treatment centers in Florida. You can even chat online with one of our specialists to find out more about drug rehabilitation centers in Florida.