If this is your first go around in rehab (and hopefully your last!) in the world of substance abuse treatment, let me be the first to say, Congratulations! You are a fierce, awesome, bad ass warrior, and you are doing a huge thing right now. So, props to you home slice, keep on keepin on and fighting the good fight and all that jazz.
Now, on a more serious note, let’s get some stuff straight. You are going back into the real world, and during your time in treatment, you may have gotten used to the facility and become what I like to call, institutionalized. Are you a little worried to go back out and face reality? I know I was my first time. There was a huge combination of wanting to jump out of my skin thinking about staying one more day, mixed with being absolutely terrified to leave.
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How do you know that you are going to stay sober? Have you found a good halfway to move in to? Are you going back home or are you going to stay near your new friends in sobriety? All of these are questions which I’m sure have been racing through your mind for the last week.
Well, relax, this is all normal, and you are not alone. So here are some tips to help you figure out what to do on your last day of rehab, and how to protect yourself upon re-entering the big bad world.
GET A SPONSOR
This is NOT a suggestion, this is pretty much a demand. Don’t like it? I didn’t either. How am I supposed to trust some random person with all my secrets? Well hold on, before you get all tough guy on me, think about it this way, the likelihood of your treatment friends remaining sober is very slim, that’s just the way it is. If you find yourself a solid, program-oriented sponsor who can carry you through the tough times, and who you MUST be honest with, I guarantee you will have a much smoother transition out of rehab.
Find a Rehab Homegroup
Consider yourself lucky, you have all the time in the world to try out new meetings and find the ones you like. Your home group is the one meeting that you make every week. This means that the people there will get to know you, they will know when you aren’t there, and they will check in on you. It is like a little family in recovery where everyone is non-judgmental and they care about your well-being and wants to make sure you aren’t being dumb. Pretty Cool, huh?
Figure out Your Treatment Plan
I’m sure by this time you will have already established all of this with a therapist, but just in case, find out if you are going to an IOP program, and if you will continue seeing your therapist.
Set Goals for Yourself in Rehab
Before you even walk out of those rehab doors on your last day, have a plan of action. By this I mean, try to map out your day for the next two weeks or so, so you know exactly which meetings you’re going to make, which jobs you are going to interview at, and everything you are going to do in between to keep yourself busy. Idle time makes for racing thoughts and trouble, make sure you are staying busy, and reaching the goals you have set out for yourself!
Stay Away from Trouble!
You already know what I mean by this, and I know it doesn’t say it anywhere in the Big Book, but take it from all of us who came before you, do not get into a relationship. This is a recipe for disaster. I have a friend who jokes that he tells all of his sponsees to get into a relationship, simply because if you truly want to feel pain and unmanageability, a relationship is guaranteed to put you through it. Especially in early recovery. Along the lines of trouble, as the old saying goes, “If you go to the barbershop enough, you’re going to get a haircut,” meaning, if you put yourself in high-risk situations for relapse, chances are, you’re probably going to relapse. So stay smart, and stay safe.
Don’t let your last day in treatment scare or intimidate you. You are about to embark on an entirely new chapter of your life and this is just the beginning. You now have the opportunity to become an entirely new person, with a whole new life, and a whole new chance to start fresh.
Many people are not given this sort of opportunity, and after everything we have done to ourselves and others in our addiction, many would say that we don’t even deserve this chance.
However, we are still here, we are still alive, and we are the lucky ones. Thousands of people will never make it to get to see their last day in rehab, so don’t let it go to waste. Take the advice of the people in the rooms, try your best to do the next right thing, and I guarantee that your whole life will change.
Don’t take yourself too seriously, and remember that recovery is a long and slow journey. So take your time, don’t rush, and as hard as it may be, as alcoholics and addicts tend to want to be perfectionists, don’t get frustrated if things don’t always happen the way you want them to when you want them to.
Don’t forget, on your last day of rehab, whether you want to be sober or you have been forced into it, that God doesn’t always give us what we want, he gives us what we need. If we had always gotten what we wanted, we would most likely be dead. We are now given the opportunity to start fresh and be good people. So enjoy it! Have fun, be smart, and don’t let your chance go to waste. Your last day of rehab is a gift, and don’t forget it!
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Freedom From Addiction
If you have found yourself or a loved one suffering from alcoholism or addiction, you are not alone! If you are ready to change your life and live free of addiction, then FindAddictionRehabs.com can help. We give you the jump start to recovery you need. Our holistic program is unique in that it doesn’t just treat the addiction, it treats the whole person. For more information on our program, call 1-877-959-7271 today.