Life after rehab for addiction can be daunting. Whether you have completed a Dayhab programme or a residential rehab treatment programme, knowing how to re-enter the world and how to keep taking those steps forward can seem like a mammoth task, but you are not alone.
It is a question we get asked a lot by clients and family members, about the steps that are taken after our Dayhab programme to make sure that they do not stray from the path of sustainable recovery. The truth is, every journey is different, but life beyond the programme can be exciting and invigorating, a chance to start anew and make healthier, happier decisions.
At Help Me Stop, we offer a 12 month aftercare programme after our Dayhab addiction treatment programmes in London and online. This means that there is a free support system in place for all clients who complete our main therapeutic programme, for 12 months after our programme ends. This offers our clients an ongoing support system, with professional and peer support. Aftercare will extend and deepen the recovery tools and strategies that you learn in treatment with Help Me Stop. You can bring challenges you are experiencing in everyday life to these weekly Aftercare groups, allowing you to share and solve problems as they arise. This includes anything that triggers cravings to drink or use: with the support of your Aftercare group, you can get through it without picking up a drink or a drug. When those twelve months are over and Aftercare sessions finish, there are some practical things you can do in order to keep and build on that momentum you have created.
Finding your people in recovery
They might not be the people you have now and that can be a difficult thing to process in itself. The people you had around you before addiction treatment may still be in the throes of addiction, or you may well have a circle of people you do wish to return to. Either way, find your people: the ones that will support your addiction recovery and champion your decision, respecting your new boundaries and understanding how they can be a part of your journey. Don’t be afraid to start new friendships, no matter your age. Your people are out there, you just need to find them. They could be at a recovery meeting (12 step or SMART recovery), a book club, fitness class, a yoga studio or maybe in your local park. Supportive people are all around, so get talking.
Nurturing relationships in recovery
So you have your people around you, but what about the relationships? They need nurturing. One of the biggest things we see in addiction is the breakdown of relationships and this can be for a whole range of different reasons, from conflict, to lack of communication or commitment. Either way, there is work to be done and conversations to be had, and this is your opportunity to have them. If there are difficult conversations you need to have, then get support from peers in addiction recovery along the way. Talk things through, to work out the way forward.
Getting out into the world
It is easy to stay cooped up and not to venture out when the sun has set when you are in recovery. But, you need to get out into the world and see what it has to offer. There are a whole range of places and people out there just waiting to be seen, so remember how far you have come, how strong you are, and take the credit for that. Head out into the world at your pace, perhaps going to the cinema, coffee shop or a sober bar, as opposed to heading straight for a rave or a casino. But, remember, you have choices you can make now to keep you on track, and you have all the tools you need to stay free from alcohol and/or drugs.
Rediscover yourself in recovery
Addiction can change us and we can lose sight of the person that we really are. So, in recovery, it is time to get reacquainted with yourself. Take yourself out and discover what truly makes you happy. What do you enjoy doing and where do you like to go? Do you like to read or watch movies? Is it time to learn a new skill or take up a class? Rediscover yourself and all the things that make you happy.
Life after the programme is a whole new journey, and we hope to see you walking your path with confidence and conviction.
For help with addiction to alcohol and/or drugs, get in touch with us at Help Me Stop, and we will be right here for you.