It is great that you have stopped abusing drugs and decided to make life more meaningful. You went through drug or alcohol detoxification and spent countless days, weeks, months, and maybe even years working on getting to this day: the day you leave the bad behind and return to real life. What others who never abuse alcohol or drugs experience is now something you are re-learning. You’re no longer in the cocoon of a rehab; you’re on your own and need to bring your recovery along.
The most important thing to do before you re-enter your routine life is to have an aftercare plan in place. Recovery doesn’t end when you leave rehab—it begins. Up until now, you’ve been guided through recovery by either a friend, family member or licensed specialist, right?
Every action you’ve taken has been monitored in some way, shape, or form. But today and forevermore, you are on your own. You are accountable to yourself and need to do the right thing.
Almost certainly, you’ve been involved in a 12-step program or some other form of a structured recovery program. You’ve already connected with people who are there to help you stay on the right track and succeed. If you don’t have a sponsor locally, you should get one right away. Immediately start going to local meetings, attend group therapy, and accept that you are at your most vulnerable in these first few months. You need to establish a solid base of support and surround yourself with people who are as determined to see you succeed in your recovery as you are.
When you leave the rehab, you have choices. Moving out on your own brings along a lot of responsibility. You need to be able to pay the rent and cover charges for electricity, water, sewer, oil or gas, insurance, and more.
What this means, of course, is that you’ll need to have an income. So, before you can even get a place to live, you need a job.
Finding a good halfway house that is run by a recovering addict in good recovery is probably the way to start. You’ll have limited supervision, a person to talk to at all hours of the day and night, and a rent that may be more affordable. You won’t have to sign a long-term lease, and you won’t need to provide references. All you need to do is stay clean. Since this is what you want, all you are doing is getting your foundation and forging your recovery.
Immerse yourself in your recovery, work your program, be honest with yourself and others, and avoid trigger situations. Change out your old friends and embrace your family when they are ready to accept you back to begin to live life to the fullest. Be strong and be the best you can be since it is time to prove it.
Don’t expect rapid results. Since drug or alcohol addiction doesn’t happen overnight, the recovery program is a long journey. Be patient, have faith, and think positively.