So, you took that all important first step, enrolled yourself in rehab and began the process of taking back your life by applying yourself to recovery. You made huge strides and you’re ready to get back to your life. Now, you have to make an appearance at a social event for the first time since rehab, with familiar people in familiar places. Suddenly, you feel anxious.
This is normal.
No person is an island, the people with whom you surround yourself shape who you are. This can be daunting at first. Rebuilding a positive social life is an important step in addiction recovery. We have some ideas that might help:
Know Your Triggers: Understand and Accept Them:
Addiction is determined by different kinds of triggers. We’ve listed some of them here, so you can identify which ones apply to you.
Physical spaces hold a lot of meaning, both positive and negative. It is useful to identify the ones that are significant to you, and how they affect you. A certain bar, street in your town, or even a friend’s home can bring back memories associated with substance use.
Addiction can also be associated with certain people and groups. Sometimes, family members, old friends or significant others could trigger a desire to engage in an addictive behaviour again. On the other hand, there are people who bring joy, calm and strength. Identify these latter people in your life and maintain a positive relationship with them.
Managing one’s personal emotional state so that internal triggers can be observed can be the most challenging of all. If you struggle with deeper emotional and mental health conditions, sustained therapy sessions can be of great help.
Small, Manageable Steps
Your well-being is the priority. Re-building a social life at your own pace is very important. In the beginning, you might consider avoiding gatherings where drugs or alcohol are likely to be present. Be prepared and comfortable to politely leave if identifiable triggers are causing you distress. Avoid people who are actively addicted, as well as those who are unable to respect your sobriety.
Have a plan for managing temptation. You might call a sponsor, or even go for a run.
Involve Your Loved Ones in The Process
Recovery is a team effort. Your loved ones are allies on this journey. Share the things you learned in rehab and involve them in the process. Be mindful of how your addiction has affected their lives. Communicate your needs and allow them to help you.
Take Up a Serious Hobby
Giving up an addictive behaviour is one part of recovery. The void created by the absence of addiction gives relief but must also be replaced with positive, engaging activities. Learn an instrument, play a sport, take a class on a subject that interests you. Explore your passions with purpose.
Personalised Alcohol and Drug Treatment Services
Rehab Melbourne offers the best drug and alcohol rehab and counselling program for you or your loved one. You can learn more about our rehabilitation services by calling 1800 954 749 or using the online enquiry form.