Going through an addiction recovery program is a huge accomplishment. However, kicking an addiction is only the beginning: the hardest part of sobriety is maintaining it.
A good addiction recovery program will provide you with the tools to help integrate your sobriety back into your everyday life. However, these plans can seem clear and easy while you are still living in a sober home, where everyone shares the goal of sobriety, but they will become complicated and difficult once you return to an environment where most people are not committed to sobriety. This can be difficult whether you live in a loud, party city like Los Angeles, or if you live in a small town where the lone dive bar serves as the center of local social life.
Here are four strategies that you can incorporate into your sober living plan once you are no longer living in a sober home.
1. Stay in contact with other sober individuals and create sober friendship groups
It’s a great idea to stay in contact with people that you meet in treatment, who can serve as a source of strength when you’re struggling. It’s also a great idea to make new groups of friends with other sober people in your hometown.
2. Reaffirm your reasons for being sober on a daily basis
Remind yourself of all the reasons why sobriety is so important to you, your family, and your future. Keep a list of all of your goals, and read it over every time you’re having difficulties.
3. Be as open about your sobriety as you are able to be
You may have people in your life who use alcohol or other drugs. They may lack knowledge or awareness of addiction. This is why it can actually be very helpful to speak openly about addiction with those closest to you.
This doesn’t require you to go in to detail; all you need to say is that you avoid alcohol because of your personal medical situation, or because of issues with addiction. Be as vague or as specific as you are comfortable being. This works much better, as it conveys the seriousness of your situation, and you may find people more helpful after they know.
4. Limit contact with people who influence you in negative ways
If you have people in your life who pressure you to use drugs or alcohol, either directly or indirectly, especially after you have been open with them about your struggles, you may need to reassess how often you spend time with these people. Your sobriety is your health, and a real friend will not encourage you to harm yourself.