Ending substance abuse is just the beginning of a lifelong recovery. Recovery is a continuum process, not a destination. Staying in recovery is a challenging task for a recovering addict. After ending the treatment at a rehab, the real challenge emerges i.e. to sustain the recovery outside rehab.
Apart from quitting substance abuse there are other aspects of recovery as well, regaining a sense of self-identity and self-esteem, rediscovering one’s meaning and purpose in life and developing strong interpersonal relationships.
Some helpful tips to maintain the course of recovery:
- Managing your thoughts, feelings and emotions.
Its utmost important to maintain harmony between thoughts, feelings and emotions, else it will create an environment of distress. In such situations a person become vulnerable to the circumstances which may result in a relapse. Therefore, keep your attitude positive towards life.
- Channeling your energy into creative activities, such as writing, music & dance, cooking, drama etc.
We all have abundance of energy stored in us which needs to be exhausted in one way or the other. It could either be positive or negative. There is no better way than to spend your energy on productive and skill enhancement activities.
- Make wellness a priority.
We have often overlooked our health in past and paid the price for it. After all, health is wealth. To enjoy the fruits of life one needs to be in a healthy position, both physically and mentally.
- Focus on today.
Recovery is a process of one day at a time. Forget about the past, you can’t change it. Let go of the fear of future, keep your sight focused on the present. You have to sustain the recovery for today only. Always remember, one day at a time.
- Learn to meditate.
Meditation is a great way to de-stress yourself. Stress and anxiety are often the reason for a relapse. Unable to cope up with the anxiety people opt for an escape route through substance abuse.
- Maintaining a strong support system.
Keep in touch with your sponsor and positive friends who do not indulge in any using. Stay connected with your counselor who has helped you throughout your treatment in a rehab. Whenever you feel down and out, get in touch with your support system to keep the negative thoughts out of your head.
- Building a new healthier lifestyle.
It’s time to adopt a new lifestyle. Compare your life before and after the treatment in a rehab and make the required changes in your lifestyle. Include productive and life enhancing activities in your lifestyle and remove those activities which may jeopardize your recovery process.
- Delayed gratification.
An addict has a personality of seeking immediate reward rather than wait for some time for a bigger reward later. By learning to control your urge to seek immediate pleasure, you can fulfill your needs through avenues other than substance abuse.
- Changing habits.
It’s time for some contemplation over your habits. Develop good habits that support sobriety. Kick out old habits which may endanger your recovery continuum. For instance sitting in right posture, listening to soothing music, going for a long walk in evening etc.
- Family support.
Family members are mostly affected by a drug abusing member of the family. They are the ones who fall victim to the hands of an addict. Domestic violence is common under such circumstances. Failure to achieve a successful cure may result in putting individuals and their families through endless cycles of detoxification and stabilization. Though, family members are the ones who lend their support in difficult times irrespective of the past. Don’t hesitate in asking for support from your family. It doesn’t mean you are weak, it means that you acknowledge that you have a problem which you are unable to cope up alone and you are in need of positive support to overcome this condition.
- Meaning and purpose in life.
In past during active addiction period we had lost our aim and purpose of life. Recovery is a process of reestablishing the lost dreams and aspirations of life. Adding some value to your life which makes it challenging and worthy.
The lure to relapse into old habits will always be out there but you need to hold your ground. Adverse circumstances may arise which may pull you towards your substance as a temporary escape from the situation, you can develop your own resilience by establishing problem solving skills.