On the path to sobriety? It’s a long road, but congratulations on taking your first steps. If you haven’t already, it’s time to take a step back and do a thorough assessment of the place you live, the people you interact with, and the tools you’ll need to continue sober living for the foreseeable future.
1. Old frustrations
A major problem to be wary of as you return to life at home after rehab is that the return of old daily frustrations can introduce major challenges to your sobriety. In a controlled environment, the stresses of the day can be kept to a minimum. When you return home, every little thing you’d escaped comes back, and it can be difficult to maintain optimism and pursue sobriety with gusto. Develop strategies to remove frustrations from your life, and deal with those you must endure – you must learn healthier coping mechanisms. Hobbies, healthy snacks, and other little rewards can help diffuse the stress of the day in a healthier way.
2. Access to alcohol and drugs
It’s much easier to avoid substance abuse when you have no substances readily available. When you return to your home after rehab, you’ll have to confront the simple temptations of easy access. If you kept alcohol or your substance of choice in your home before, rid yourself of any remainder immediately — toss it or give it away, just be rid of it as soon as possible. Absolutely do not keep it ‘in case’. If it doesn’t belong to you, you’ll need to appeal to your housemates to remove anything along these lines from the house.
Old habits can be hard to break. If you used under certain circumstances before, it can be far more tempting to return to that old habit as you return to more mundane tasks. A drink sitting in your recliner while watching the game can be far more tempting than a drink would otherwise. Try to break up these habits; change how you watch the game, where you sit, or something else.
4. Lack of help
If you’ve grown accustomed to having people available to help you deal with the daily challenges of addiction recovery, it can be difficult to adapt to tackling those challenges solo. Reach out to groups in your area, keep seeing medical professionals, and talk honestly with people in your life you can trust.
If it feels too early to take on your old environment, you might want to consider a stint in a sober home, where you can transition from the strict environment of rehab to something that’s a little less restrictive but still safely structured. Just take your time, and make sure you get your return to sobriety right.