Sobriety is a commitment both in and out of rehab. A lot of people think that detoxing is the worst part, but honestly, I think the maintenance is. Hi, I’m Crystal. I have been sober for three years, six months, and 19 days. I haven’t had a drink in longer than that, but I do not count time in rehab as time clean. It is closer to a transition period than a period of sobriety. I know so many people who have gone through rehab, some on a personal level, like my brother. Most of the people that I still keep in touch with have struggled a lot after going home. Some have even relapsed. The ones who relapsed have kept to a trend that I have noticed. They returned home, which is wonderful news! However, they didn’t change anything about their lives when they did so.
When you go home, you are basically a whole new person. Everything changes when you sober up; how you look, how you act, even how you take care of yourself. It’s like your new year’s resolutions, only better. Like your new year’s resolutions, though, you need to maintain them. If you slack, you are no better off than you were when you made them. This applies to sobriety, too. The difference is, instead of committing to eating healthy or being nicer to people, you are resolving to improve your life, and be a better person for not only you and your health, but the people around you as well. There is no room for a slip-up or a “cheat day.” Something that simple can lead to the downfall of your sobriety, just as it has done for countless others.
When it comes to maintaining your sobriety for a long period of time, you need to not only change how you behave after you leave rehab, but also your routines and other key areas. For example, let’s say you work in a very busy company and you have a set routine for what happens each day when you come home. Maybe you make dinner, sit to watch TV and, uh-oh, you’d grab a beer. New you, remember? That just won’t do! Instead, take the time to think of how your routines would ordinarily work and make a change. Maybe instead of watching TV after dinner, you go for a walk, or take up knitting. Whatever hobby piques your interest, try something new rather than continuing with the same-old stuff you’ve always done. These old habits can trigger you to start reaching for booze again.
Whether you are freshly out of rehab and trying to make a change, or you are finding yourself struggling after being sober for some time, it is never too late to try something different. Finding ways to stray from the same-old, same-old that got you into rehab in the first place is never a bad option. Those old habits can bring about old memories, old cravings, and old mindsets that you don’t need (or want) around you anymore. However, something new can bring about not only a distraction from triggers, but also a bright and fun new hobby or maybe even a better lifestyle. In fact, I decided to start volunteering after work rather than sitting around with the wrong kind of people, and it led me to a new career! There are countless options, so you are bound to find the perfect fit for you!