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Learning how to live life sober in rehab is difficult, but applying your new coping strategies to “real world” problems presents an entirely new challenge. You already know that the old strategies you used to deal with stress — such as drinking — are ineffective. Pay attention to your feelings, and when you start feeling anxious or depressed, rely on your new tools to deal with old habits, past grudges, strong memories, and guilty feelings. They can fuel powerful emotions. Managing these emotions in sobriety without the protection of your rehab family surrounding you is the first real test of living in post-rehab recovery.
The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. Ideally, your closest friends and family will be able to support you by spending time with you. You can also attend recovery support meetings, work with a private alcohol counselor, and reach out to your rehab program for more personalized help. Do not overlook how effective hobbies can be at keeping you distracted and away from triggers that can lead to relapse. Exercise and team sports, listening to music, visiting an art museum, and reading are all popular choices for those in recovery.
Staying sober is about more than staying distracted. Although you may be lucky to have close friends and family members who are helping you through this adjustment phase, you will also need to put effort into rebuilding other important relationships. These relationships may be with coworkers, neighbors, friends, or family members. Keep in mind that these people may not have had the opportunity to work through their own feelings and may still be angry. Do not expect miracles overnight. Reestablishing trust takes time. In some cases, a loving relationship you once enjoyed may never recover. This is tremendously disappointing, but keep in mind there are new relationships on the horizon — ones that are not tainted by bad memories.
Many who suffer from addiction also have a mental health disorder, such as anxiety, PTSD, ADD/ADHD, panic disorder, or bipolar disorder. In some cases, those who have not been diagnosed or treated for mental health disorders use alcohol or drugs to self-treat the uncomfortable symptoms associated with these problems. The temporary and false stress-relief they feel after using leads to a cycle of abuse and dependency, ultimately resulting in worsening emotional symptoms. Detox and rehab can address the physical symptoms and emotional problems associated with addiction, but without mental health treatment, the original problems that led to abuse are likely to remain. That is why mental health and addiction are closely linked, and why having an untreated mental health disorder after addiction increases the risk of relapse.
If you suffered — or suspect you suffered — from a mental health disorder that led to self-treating symptoms of depression or anxiety with alcohol, then you may benefit from therapy. With a commitment to therapy and possibly pharmacological treatment, you are more likely to avoid relapse because you can reduce or eliminate the uncomfortable feelings that lead to using. Some alcohol rehabs are qualified to diagnose and treat mental health disorders and addiction at the same time. For more information on treating co-occurring addiction and mental health disorder, also called dual diagnosis, please call our Luxury Rehab Center today.
Identifying dual diagnosis is often trickier than you might suspect. That is because the emotional symptoms of addiction include depression and anxiety. A high-quality inpatient residential rehab center can identify the important differences between addiction-related depression and a true dual diagnosis. Once you have any mental health issues under control, and you have developed a practical set of coping skills, you can work on achieving your purpose in recovery.
Once you stopped drinking, you lost your purpose. Feeling satisfied with your newly sober lifestyle means finding a new purpose you can focus on. For some individuals, this can be accomplished by rededicating yourself to your most important relationships. For others, this may include rediscovering the joys of your chosen vocation or choosing a new vocation altogether. Spiritual healing is another possibility. Avoiding boredom is essential, because boredom leads to dissatisfaction — and dissatisfaction can lead to using.
It is important to remember that finding and living a purpose might not happen overnight. Keep in mind that recovery is a process — not a destination. Life is trial and error. Spend time with others who are likely to influence you in a positive way. You might find these individuals in recovery support groups, your family, your workplace, or close friend groups. Observe how successful individuals set a goal then work to achieve it, and pay special attention to what happens when setbacks occur. Living in sobriety is not about eliminating setbacks altogether, because setbacks always happen — even to the happiest, most successful people in the world. What separates those individuals from everyone else is not luck but a commitment to managing setbacks successfully through strong problem-solving skills. Do not be afraid to copy techniques used by successful people you respect. If they can succeed, so can you.
You do not have to rely on others to create your own success story, however. There are numerous resources you can rely on to achieve your goals. Read motivational texts or books. Allow yourself to dream, then visualize success by imagining how you would achieve that goal, step by step. Let yourself taste success by starting a small project and finishing it to your satisfaction. Whether that is cooking and cleaning up a meal made from scratch, starting a small support group, or going back to school part-time is up to you. Work on one project at a time to avoid feeling overwhelmed, which can lead to giving up. The point is to start with realistic goals, accept setbacks, modify as necessary, and work until you have achieved your desired result.
The most important thing you can do when you are in recovery is to ask for help. There is no shame in needing other people. There is no shame in admitting mistakes. There is only the strength that comes from living in a community where you spend time with people you love and trust, those who care about your well-being. When you are down — and you will be, because everyone at some point feels sad, frustrated, or angry — accept and express your feelings. If you constantly feel upset, or others have suggested that you have unrealistic expectations of what life would be like sober, you may have a problem called dry drunk syndrome.
During dry drunk syndrome, you might find yourself feeling angry, jealous, or bitter because you have challenges others do not have to face. You might feel cheated because you expected your problems to solve themselves once you got sober or because others seem to have it easier than you. Instead of working to solve these problems and making good fortune happen, a person with dry drunk syndrome might use challenges as evidence that living life sober is disappointing. If this sounds familiar, you may benefit from professional intervention.
If you are having problems facing reality, worry that you have an untreated mental health diagnosis, or have started thinking about going back to drinking, it may be time to get professional help. At our Luxury Rehab Center, our Recovery Support Team is well-qualified to address the issues related to dual diagnosis, spiritual dissatisfaction, relationship problems, and behavioral therapy. Our Team also provides medically monitored detox services and help with the physical and nutritional problems associated with recovery.
Our Luxury Rehab Center is a small, private facility located in the rolling hills of south central Pennsylvania. We accept up to 6 detox and 17 rehab clients at one time. Each client benefits from a minimum of 10 to 15 individual sessions per week, as well as numerous small group therapy sessions. We provide alternative, evidence-based treatment that uses the most progressive techniques known in addiction medicine. At our facility, clients recuperate with a broad range of amenities that include a heated in-ground swimming pool, state of the art Music Therapy and Art Therapy studios, a fully equipped fitness center, a gourmet kitchen, and much more.
Our Luxury Rehab Center helps people recover from alcohol and drug addiction every day. We may be able to help you, too, even if you have tried rehab before. You can find your lifelong path to recovery, and we are waiting to talk to you.
If you or someone you care about wants more information about alcohol recovery or our rehabilitation program, contact the Luxury Rehab Center now.
“I've struggled with addiction throughout the majority of my life. Clarity Way helped me find a better, more capable person within myself and helped address all of those things that I'd been using drugs and alcohol to avoid for far too long. During my stay at Clarity Way, I began to deal with the underlying issues that I discovered had partially caused my addiction. By working through them, I finally realized that not only could I be sober, but that I wanted to be.”