So you have made all the right decisions, gone through the difficult and emotionally taxing process of addiction recovery at a reputable rehab center and come out the other side as “recovered”, and it is at this point many people ask themselves “So… What Now?”. This is a perfectly natural and valid question as living in the real world is vastly different from the controlled environment of rehab, temptations and vices will always be there to tempt you into being led astray.
However, using what you learned at rehab both about addiction, and indeed yourself, these feelings can be overcome as you begin to adapt to your new drug-free life. There will most likely be some trial and tribulation along the way, but ultimately, with the right outlook and motivation to stay clean, you can make a success of your recovery regardless of where you are. Here are a few pieces of advice for you moving forward into the real world, addiction free.
1. Regular Exercise
Exercising regularly is not only obviously good for your physical health but can also help your mental health in a number of unexpected ways. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins designed to keep your body moving for as long as it possibly can which leave you feeling a lot calmer and settled after a long workout session. Exercising regularly also helps you get used to a healthy routine and is a great starting point for long term addicts who may be struggling to form a solid routine.
Ultimately, exercise is very much like addiction recovery in that nobody can just make you stick to a new workout routine, you have to do it yourself. Many people are not overly excited about exercising, however even 20 minutes a day of walking or jogging on a treadmill can do more than you may think. Once you have gotten used to this and accepted it as part of your usual routine then you ultimately forget that it’s a chore.
2. Having a Solid Relapse Prevention Plan
Most rehabs don’t just cast you into the wild after treatment, in fact, the whole purpose of your stay there was to prepare you for life AFTER rehab and to keep you drug-free. For this reason, most rehabs will issue their residents with a Relapse Prevention Plan, which is designed with you as an individual in mind and, in most cases, made in conjunction with your input. Following this plan after your stay will be imperative in moments of doubt and weakness, and should be considered a kind of first aid kit to your temptation to use drugs again.
This plan will essentially outline all of your aspirations for your drug-free life and how using again would impact them. It could include career goals, family-related goals or even just reaching a milestone. These goals can be small or large as long as they keep you motivated to make your recovery a success and truly succeed after rehab. Having your plan solidly outlined and focused around the things that you want to do in life should help you put your journey into perspective when you are in doubt.
3. Making New Friends
This is definitely one of these suggestions that sounds far easier than it is. However ( with exceptions of course) it will become necessary to make a new group of friends as in all likelihood, your old friends will be embroiled to some extent in the life and activities you are trying to avoid going back to. These friends don’t have to conform to any particular standard however, they should be as far removed from the habits of your past drug use as possible. For many people, the success of their recovery rides on their ability to stay away from toxic friendships.
There are a lot of ways to meet new people and forge new friendships. Simply going onto the internet and looking at a social media group or forum can be an encouraging start to finding a new friendship circle. Eventually moving onto in-person activities and social events should be in your plans but taking this process slowly and relearning who is good material for a friend is crucial.
4. Healthy Diet
This may seem like a fairly trivial suggestion, however, the diet that you maintain can have a dramatic effect on both how you feel, and how bad your cravings are. Getting a full and complete diet rich in various vitamins and minerals will help alleviate the impulse to take drugs, as well as giving your body the proper building blocks to produce the normal levels of chemicals in the right amounts. This is essential in order to get you feeling like yourself again as brain chemistry pretty much dictates how we feel about a situation or environment.
Eating plenty of clean proteins and leafy green vegetables, as well as plenty of fruit and vitamin supplements as recommended by your healthcare professional and rehab center will help establish normality within your body and subsequently, stability in the mind will soon follow. Avoid fast foods or foods high in fats and cholesterol as they will make you feel sluggish, lethargic and will not give your body the full nutrient profile that it requires to function at peak capacity.
As we mentioned before, your time in rehab was specifically for this situation and any reputable rehab center will have many different contingency plans and exercises within the steps of their treatment program focused at keeping you clean and drug-free. Naturally, however, these only go so far and that same willpower and determination you used to make the decision to get clean will need to come into play again.We here at Clarity Thailand firmly believe in giving our residents the tools and information they need to make their recovery an overwhelming success. Please take a look at our programmes to see how we can help your individual addiction issue.