So you’ve completed your sober living program and made a huge step towards lifelong sobriety. Be proud of yourself: You deserve more than a few pats on the back for putting in the effort to move forward and get back out into the world.
But returning to a normal lifestyle isn’t easy. Planning for the next steps after sober living was probably the last thing on your mind. Now that you’re finally here, figuring out where to go next can be immensely stressful.
Your journey is a very personal one, and while you — and only you — know what you need to succeed in your new life, there are a few key points to consider as you ask yourself what comes next.
What Do You Want?
You want to stay sober, of course. Having something to live for and strive towards means you have something to fall back on when times are hard. If you fall back on your goals rather than on false comforts, you’ll find that it’s easier to stay strong.
Goals can be both short- and long-term, spanning a single day (doing the laundry), a few weeks (going for a walk every other day), or an entire career. No matter your goals, they give you a path and direction so you can focus on growth and self-development. You are more than your addiction; giving yourself something to work toward makes a return to substance abuse less appealing. If you relapse, you’ll have a much harder time meeting those goals.
You’ve gone through one of the greatest challenges a person can face, so you deserve to suffer less stress. Avoiding stress isn’t just a great way to move forward because it also helps you avoid relapsing and the temptation to abuse.
By avoiding stress, you’ll find it easier to do things that make you happy and more actualized, creating a positive feedback loop that leads to you feeling even better.
Creating a budget is another effective strategy for minimizing stress. While financial management may not sound appealing to some, the reality is that sober living eliminates much of the need to manage your finances. For this reason, money is one of your biggest stressors once you get back into the world.
You will need to address your finances when you leave. Not having to worry about money makes the adjustment and transition far easier, and ensures that you have the financial support you need to reach your goals.
Consider Moving to a New Area
For some, returning home means a return to a support system of family and friends and the chance to mend broken relationships. For others, it means returning to an environment filled with triggering people and places that remind you of your past and induce new cravings.
In the case of the latter, you could find yourself returning to a life where many people in your network may not agree with or understand your decision to become sober. Rather than putting your sobriety in jeopardy, you may consider moving somewhere new.
If you decide to move, do some research ahead of time. If you don’t thrive in the big city, move to a small town or rural area (or vice versa). Make sure you can find work opportunities. Fortunately, the post-pandemic explosion in remote work has made finding employment easier for many people and means you probably won’t have to compromise comfort in your area to find a fulfilling career.
If you decide to move, be patient when making new friends.; it takes time to build new relationships as an adult. Local sobriety groups and volunteering opportunities are opportunities to find like-minded people who understand and support your sobriety.
Be Ready and Self-Aware
Thus far, we’ve covered steps that are largely preventative and proactive, focusing on making it easier for you to take care of yourself. if you aren’t able to avoid stress, you should also have a plan to avoid slipping back into old habits. Even in the face of growing temptation, you can stop a relapse before it happens.
But if it becomes too much, it’s okay to ask for help again. Asking for help doesn’t mean you’ve failed; rather, it means that you’re ready to do what’s best for you once again.
Silicon Beach is Here to Help
For more information about sober living programs and intensive outpatient programs (IOP) consider contacting the Silicon Beach Treatment Center for your Los Angeles rehab needs.
We’ve provided IOP in LA neighborhoods for years. As one of the best LA addiction treatment centers out there, we’re ready to get you back on your feet.
Contact us today and get the help you deserve.