After you have gone through rehab for drug or alcohol addiction, it is essential to prioritize the avoidance of triggers and temptations – especially those that used to be the source of a good time. Does this mean you can never have fun again, never socialize with friends or go to a party? Absolutely not. Having a solid plan will still allow you to enjoy yourself without derailing the sobriety for which you have worked so hard.
Take Baby Steps
It is unwise to attempt to throw yourself back into the party scene or bar scene immediately after holistic rehab. Yes, you are sober, but the goal is to stay that way and now is not the time to test your willpower. If you go where others are drinking or using, your newfound sobriety will be pushed, and that isn’t a stressor you need to put on yourself.
Moving through the world without alcohol or drugs will feel daunting when you leave rehab. You will feel uncomfortable in nearly every social situation for a while, especially if you used to always drink or have a substance coursing through your body to give you courage and eliminate anxiety. Over time, however, you will feel more comfortable going to a happy hour or gathering and socialize without drinking or getting high while feeling relaxed and still having fun.
Know Your Triggers
There will always be people, places, or things that make you think about drinking or using. Avoidance is a big part of staying sober, but it will be hard to stay away from every situation where alcohol or drugs are plentiful if you want to have any sort of social life. The key is to stay aware, identify triggers as they arise, and know what to do with your triggers so that you stay in control instead of becoming overwhelmed.
Everyone has different triggers. Staying ahead of temptation is not as simple as writing a list of “bad things that might make me want to drink or use.” Yes, it’s a good idea to keep that list, but it will evolve with every sober day you have. You may not know until you hear a certain song that it reminds you of using. You may not know until Thanksgiving rolls around that you have always depended on drugs or alcohol to get you through this holiday. Be honest with yourself about what feels good and what feels bad, so you can make choices that still allow you to socialize, but perhaps in new ways, so you aren’t tempted to break your sobriety.
You cannot avoid every trigger if you want to live a full life that includes work, exercise, leisure time, and more. You can be blindsided at any time and in any situation by a reminder of your past substance abuse, especially the longer you stay sober and the more you begin to socialize again. These pokes and prods are not convenient, but if you develop a game plan to manage unexpected temptations, you can face them with great success and keep your sobriety intact.
- Be prepared to leave: Always have your own way out of a social situation and do not rely on others to give you. Drive yourself or have an Uber ready to go so you can leave when you need to if you’re feeling tempted.
- Say no: If you’re having a stressful day or week and feeling like your sobriety is on the line, stay home and away from any potential temptations, especially if you used to rely on substances to help you through difficult times.
- Get your own drink: Carry a non-alcoholic beverage in your hand, even if that means you bring your own water bottle or soda. Others will be less inclined to force a drink upon you when you already have one, and you’ll feel like part of the group because you have a beverage that’s safe for you.
- Rely on your support system: If you find yourself in a social situation that is dangling your biggest temptations in front of you, have a sober buddy prepared for your call or know the location of a meeting you can attend. Holistic rehab helps you form a sober support system. Rely on it whenever you need it so you can feel safe.
When you get sober and healthy, your mind becomes clearer, you make better decisions, and you discover ways to socialize without drinking or doing drugs.
Learn more about holistic rehab and get the recovery support you need from the therapeutic team at Beachside Rehab. Contact our trained admissions counselors at 866-349-1770 to discuss your individual needs and how luxury rehab can work for you.