When someone makes the important decision to enter rehab their attention is squarely focused on tackling the upcoming, and somewhat intimidating, detox and addiction treatment process. Achieving sobriety is a difficult and challenging task of itself, so most people do not stop to consider the many ways that newfound sobriety will change their overall lifestyle.
It is probably best that these details are not ruminated on too much in advance. Anxiety is already an issue upon approaching recovery, so why make the decision to get sober harder than it already is. By the time someone has completed the treatment program they will hopefully have received coaching about how to cultivate new sober friendships and to seek out sober activities in recovery.
Even if there was solid mentoring in rehab for entering a new lifestyle in recovery, there is no adequate way to properly address the challenges the newly sober individual may face once they leave the treatment program. It doesn’t take long before he is reminded that our cultural pastimes and family traditions are permeated with alcohol, making socializing while sober a bit more of a challenge than had been anticipated.
How Sober Living Encourages Socializing While Sober
There is no arguing that the first year of recovery from alcoholism or drug addiction is the most challenging. High relapse rates reflect this fact, only reinforcing the fact that addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease. Just as a patient with a medical condition is given directives about how to avoid relapsing back into the condition, recovering addicts are offered similar information. If these measures are ignored or only partially followed, the risk for relapse is increased, whether the recovery is for a health condition or an addiction.
For individuals recovering from addiction, there are important steps to take to help prevent relapse, one of them being making sober living arrangements for the first few months following rehab. Sober living provides the social support piece of recovery, an essential aspect of solidifying newfound sobriety. This is because a drug and alcohol-free living environment provides the perfect setting for practicing new sober social skills while forming lasting sober friendships.
Sober living usually includes mandatory 12-step meetings that further expose the individual to peer support and fellowship. Through these recovery groups social outings and events are announced and promoted, providing opportunities to experience fun activities that do not include alcohol or drugs.
How to Modify Your Lifestyle to Align with Recovery
Following rehab one of the first steps to take in recovery is the culling of former acquaintances or friends that are still involved in heavy alcohol consumption or drug use. There is no question that changing one’s social connections is a pivotal step in recovery. After taking that step, however, one may be left with few people in their lives, which can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation, both triggers for relapse.
Some of the additional steps to take to help reshape one’s lifestyle in sobriety include:
- Seek out sober meet-up groups who meet for outdoor activities, concerts, ball games, and other events. Surround yourself with other people who are also committed to sobriety and still want to live life to the fullest.
- Avoid social events that are all about drinking. Just skip those.
- Take up a new hobby or sport, or join a gym. Do something to help restore health and wellness while also providing a new challenge to reach for.
- Have an escape plan when you do attend weddings or other family occasions. Be prepared to exit early if family members begin to drink heavily, or if the presence of alcohol becomes a trigger. Explain to one close family member that you are leaving without feeling the need to make a big deal of your exit.
- Do volunteer work. Engaging in volunteer activities is a great way to add ‘giving back’ to your recovery plan. Charitable events are often simple affairs that do not involve drinking and also offer socializing possibilities.
Beit Hillel Sobriety Is a Men’s Sober Living Community in Los Angeles, California
Beit Hillel Sobriety offers an excellent opportunity to fine tune new recovery skills while learning to enjoy a new sober lifestyle. Socializing while sober can be just as rewarding and enjoyable as those alcohol-soaked outings of the past, if not more so. In recovery, the newly sober individual can be truly present and engaged on all levels in social settings, making these events more memorable. Beit Hillel Sobriety provides transitional housing between rehab and returning to home life where recovery has time to become the new normal and sober socializing can be embraced. For more information about how sober living after rehab can promote socializing while sober, please contact Beit Hillel at (866) 818-0321.