Many people who choose treatment for their addictions might think that rehab and detox are the only two steps of the recovery process; it’s a myth. Ending substance abuse is only the first step. Similar to taking an auto in for repair, maintenance afterwards is essential. Recovering from any addiction is a lifelong process because the first few weeks out or treatment are the most dangerous times. For many, sober coaching is a valuable tool, and having a qualified sober coach stand in the gap between treatment and getting plugged into healthy recovery communities after treatment can increase your likelihood of success. Sober coaches are not sponsors, but a good sober coach will encourage the addict to find a sponsor as soon as possible and may fill that gap until they do.
The five strategies mentioned below are the recommendations from professionals in addiction treatment. These are also tried and tested by people in the recovery community. While one thing may work for you but didn’t do it for your friend, it’s essential to recognize that all of this is a uniquely personal experience. Remember, it’s your sobriety – and your life.
There is an old saying, “spend enough time in a barber shop and soon enough you’ll get a haircut”. You need new habits and new friends; your old ones don’t have your best intentions in mind. The corner pub where happy hour is way too cheap? Your favorite band’s concert where alcohol and drugs are commonplace? Don’t put yourself in situations and around people that could get you into relapse – no matter how intense the urge is. The day will come when you can be in these situations if needed, but those days won’t be when you are fresh out of treatment.
Use your tools
With a proper perspective, leaving treatment can be an exciting time, a time to use the tools you were given in treatment. These tools include practicing gratitude, forgiveness, prayer, and meditation. A sober coach can help you obtain this perspective and remind you to practice these concepts while you are searching for that recovery community that you will be the most comfortable in.
Have a Plan and Stick to it
Restlessness, irritability, discontent, these are the warning signs, and they will rear their ugly heads if we have too much time for too much thinking on our hands when fresh out of treatment. Planning your day ahead of time to make sure you take time for prayer and or meditation, attending meetings, eating properly, proper fitness, and rest will be important. A good sober coach will help you with these schedules and reaching your goals.
Stay Busy and Move Forward with Your Life
Recovering from your addictive behaviors is important but its not enough. Soon it will be time to move forward with the new life you have been blessed with. With a new confidence you can resume chasing your dreams of that new job, family, or college degree, and a qualified sober coach can help you with the whens and hows of reaching these goals.
It’s important to get in touch with, be honest about, and share your feelings; in and out of the recovery rooms. With our sharing we are reminded that we are not that unique, and that no matter how far we have fallen, our experience can be useful to others. The first word in the first step is “we”, and it is our responsibility to be a part of the “we”.