What Do I Do After Rehab?
What do I do after rehab? The first immediate response that comes to mind is “don’t go back”. But to not go back means not making the same mistakes. To not make the same mistakes means not creating the same problems. The point is that there is a lot that must be done. The word rehabilitation means the action of restoring someone to health or normal life through training and therapy after imprisonment, addiction, or illness. To wind up in rehab means that things have gone pretty wrong up until that point. Doing things our way clearly hasn’t been working, so maybe it’s time to take the advice of a few others who seem to be making this “life” thing actually work. Change.
You see, making a change is going to be the number one thing that recovery takes. No matter what it is we’re in rehab for, it’s about learning how to get out and stay out. Cataloging the events that have led up to that moment and changing our reactions to them is the only way we might make it after rehab.
Waking Up After Rehab
Those in rehabilitation for alcoholism must learn things about themselves that most have probably slept on for all their lives. We must step out of our grandiose ways and take a more introspective approach to things. Take for instance when an accident happens. Accidents happen all the time, but when the accident happens repeatedly, it doesn’t seem like an accident anymore.
Being able to become self aware of why we made the accident and why it is an accident will prevent it from recurring as frequently. Some of us will start to scratch our heads with the revelation that most of our “accidents” were maybe subconsciously on purpose. Gasp!! This is okay though if we learn from it. Becoming aware of this is will be the beginning to turning over a new leaf. It might be the butterfly effect that feeds positive energy into doing the right thing more often.
This in turn can build self esteem that propels us in the right direction. Of course not to get overconfident or too cocky like some do after rehab, but enough to recognize our self worth. Enough to know that being an alcoholic doesn’t make us bad people, it just makes us do bad things. Enough to realize that we have the power to stop the obsession and its harmful ways if we choose so.
Pleasantly Preventing Pre-lapse
If I had a nickel for every time I’d see somebody doing well in recovery and slowly seeing this wave of complacency glaze over them- I’d have a couple bucks at least sadly. You see, the sad part about complacency is that it is the beginning to the end. It is a shortcut right back into the alcoholic pits of despair. One of the most important things to do after rehab is having an effect aftercare plan put together.
A strong aftercare blueprint will keep relapse at bay. We want this at all costs. For a true addict/alcoholic, relapse is what will wind us back up in rehab- or possibly jail or death for some unfortunates. Remember, everything is about change now. We need new hobbies, new friends, new jobs, etcetera. For some, one of the most therapeutic things they’ll be able to do for themselves will be the simple task of writing. Just pulling out a piece of paper and a pen may do wonders.
Learning to journal is an important tool that can allow the alcoholic author to get their thoughts out on paper while literally venting to themselves. This is only one of many things to do after rehab though. A few other crucial steps to take should also include:
- Finding a sponsor
- Working the 12 steps
- Attending a halfway house/step down facility
- Intensive outpatient
- Taking care of self/overall wellness
Another highly recommended change after rehab would be working on our communication in any and all relationships we continue or begin. Who we talk to and surround ourselves with is a true testament to our character. If we want to get high, then you hang we with people who are getting high. If we want to chase dragons in our made up imaginary land, then we hang out with other people who want to do the same. Unless their reasons are to strike down and kill the dragons- then we avoid those people at all costs too.
The point is that if we want to stay sober, then we have to rid our lives of all the individuals that are still using- using substance or using us.
For some this is a simpler task than it is for others. The voice of alcoholism is really the only thing that makes it seemingly difficult. Changing our phone numbers after rehab or even deleting all our contacts is recommended. In this effort we minimize the contact people from your previous life have with you. This is vital. Along with number changes includes avoiding the same old playgrounds we used to frequent. They need to be eliminated from the picture. Just stopping by the old bars and hang out spots is beckoning temptation. Something so simple, but mistakes like these can ruin all the progress we have made. Nobody will hold our hands the whole time. After rehab, it’s now up to us to hold ourselves accountable.