If you have been through a programme of rehabilitation, you may be about to head home and get back to living in the real world. This can be a real eye-opener for many recovering addicts as they attempt to adjust to their old life without the chemical substance or activity to which they once relied on. Some are embarrassed or ashamed of what they have been through, and they worry about others finding out.
There are many life events that people find difficult to discuss with others. Certain things such as marriage problems, depression, and addiction have a certain stigma attached to them, and many feel uncomfortable discussing them with others. However, the reality of the situation is that talking and sharing with others can often be very therapeutic.
You do not have to keep your recovery a secret if you do not want to. Likewise, you do not have to tell everyone about it either. It is important, though, to tell some people that you have been through a programme of rehabilitation. For example, you may want to tell your friends so that they can support you and not try to encourage you to drink or take drugs.
Some recovering addicts, especially those who have found recovery less difficult than they imagined, are lulled into a false sense of security and believe that they could easily have one or two drinks and then stop. Some think that they do not have to abstain completely because they now have a handle on their problem. Sadly, this is rarely the case. Some individuals could have one or two drinks when they go out and might be able to control this for a while. Nevertheless, after a while, they will become complacent and believe that they can maybe have one or two more when they are out. Before they realise what is happening, they are back to where they started. The truth about alcoholism is that it really is all or nothing.
Others believe that they can swap one chemical substance for another. If they were addicted to drugs, they think that they can easily drink alcohol without any issues. Most recovering addicts who swap one substance for another will end up back where they started or find themselves with an entirely new problem.
Illness of the Brain
It is important to realise that those with addiction issues have an illness of the brain. It is not that they are addicted to one particular substance – they are at risk of becoming addicted to all mood-altering substances and, therefore, need to avoid them at all costs.
Recovering addicts have to be careful about anything that is capable of altering their mood, and this could include what appears to be an innocent cold or flu remedy.
The reality for the recovering addict is that the individual could become hooked on absolutely anything if he or she believes that it will make them feel better. The addiction is within the person and not within the substance.
Living a Sober Life
Now that you are back at home, you may find that there were many things you were neglecting while you were addicted. If you have a partner and children, it may dawn on you how much your partner was doing to keep your family afloat while you were ill.
Although it is important for you to try to get back to some semblance of normality, you need to take things easy at this stage. Getting stressed out by taking on too much could put you at risk of relapse. The most important thing in the early days is your ability to maintain your sobriety. Your family will want you to stay on the right track, so if this means your partner has to continue taking on the majority of the responsibilities in the home, so be it. At the end of the day, your future together depends on the success of your recovery.
Addiction Helper can provide addiction advice and information on the best treatments and rehabilitation centres available.