How Can I Rebuild a Sobriety Lifestyle?
If you have reached early sobriety after detox treatment, that is a milestone worthy of celebrating! Many people think it is the end of the journey towards recovery. Some believe they can just jump right back into the real world. However, early sobriety is far from being the end of the journey. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the term “recovery” refers to “a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.” This definition points to a picture of long-term sobriety, or rather a lifestyle characterized by wellbeing and personal flourishing.
Sobriety is the pathway to a new lifestyle. Unless you rebuild back towards a healthy lifestyle, there is always the danger of relapse. The real world just has too many environmental triggers to present. What you can do is build up enough internal resilience and external control in your immediate environment. A lifestyle of sobriety prizes healthy boundaries which are a good defense against potential risk factors.
What Does Long-Term Sobriety Look Like?
It can be difficult for people in the early phases of recovery to imagine what long-term sobriety looks like. Maybe you find it hard to picture yourself living a life without substances, but it is important to have this vision in your mind and strive to achieve it. Many people have walked this journey, and they can all testify that maintaining a sober lifestyle is one of the most empowering life choices one can make.
Long-term sobriety means that you can live a self-directed life, experience the full range of human emotions, and enjoy meaningful relationships. These are based on making meaningful and enduring lifestyle changes. Imagine a new lifestyle that empowers you to connect deeply with yourself and others while fulfilling your potential in all kinds of creative things.
You also need to understand long-term sobriety as a holistic vision. Complete healing from substance addiction can be the rebirth of a person. Your body, emotions, and mental state of being can be healed and renewed. You get to enjoy what life has to offer, and not live on the surface. Long-term sobriety is a picture of personal resilience.
Why Is It Difficult to Build Back a Healthy Lifestyle?
Once you finish detox treatment, you may feel reinvigorated and motivated to start a new life. There are many things you might want to do to make up for the missed time. Perhaps you want to manifest change to family and friends, join community events, or repair some past relationships that were disrupted by addiction. These are all good goals to have, but it is important to remember that slow and steady wins the race. Recovery is a marathon, not a sprint. Try not to let over-confidence and complacency sabotage the progress you have already made in the past months.
By now you’ve probably learned that substance addiction had much to do with your old lifestyle. As human beings, we tend to have fixed behavioral patterns that shape a lifestyle. This means that most likely, you will go back to many of your old habits without realizing it. For example, you might soon find it hard to keep a daily routine of healthy diets, enough sleep, and regular exercise. Parties with friends and family gatherings begin to blur the line between fun activities and triggers. Relationship struggles add to your stress, and there may be a growing impulse to escape all these through using drugs and alcohol.
How Can I Build Back on a Day-To-Day Basis?
Taking recovery one day at a time is a good way to handle the stress. You need to give yourself enough time to adjust to life after rehab. Your therapists, family, and friends may have already prepared you with the ground rules. Moving forward, you just have to follow through on a day-to-day basis. It takes repetition and routinization to build actions into habits and make habits into a healthy lifestyle. Remember to practice mindful presence in the real world by giving attention to how you relate to others, manage emotions, de-stress, and rely on your support system.
You will face pressure from people if you are determined to pursue a healthy lifestyle. Maybe even friends who are happy with your sobriety do not fully support this new “radical” lifestyle of yours. However, as a person, you have experienced growth and maturity from coming out of addiction. One important area to train yourself in is using your free time in a way that matches a healthy lifestyle. Be aware of burnout and devote some time to self-care. Also, be aware of the comeback of boredom, and try to divert your interests to healthy, meaningful, and fun activities.
One crucial part of building a healthy lifestyle includes time management. You should learn how to set daily goals and aim to accomplish them the best you can. You may also want to set up a reward system so when you do accomplish important goals, you can reward yourself with healthy treats. Use your spare time in activities that promote general wellbeing.
If you or a loved one is rebuilding life after treatment for substance addiction, there are many things to learn and to watch out for. Early sobriety is a vulnerable stage, and you need to turn healthy choices into habits, which then become a healthy lifestyle. There are many effective strategies to do this. At South Florida Intervention, we have professionally trained interventionists to work with recovering individuals at different stages, including early sobriety. Our recovery coaches can also help parents in understanding more about sobriety and what it takes to continue sustained recovery. Over the years, we have helped many families to support their loved ones towards long-term sobriety. You can benefit from a range of services we offer, including recovery coaching, parent coaching, sober escort, and detailed case management. We can also connect you with trusted health professionals who have plenty of experience with maintaining long-term sobriety. Call us at (202) 390-2273.