Page 492 of The Big Book starts with a crystal clear assertion of what it means to be free after a life of addiction: “Those events that once made me feel ashamed and disgraced now allow me to share with others how to become a useful member of the human race.”
What is recovery, after all, if it isn’t the road to becoming a useful member of the human race?
Being free from addiction means much more than no longer having the urge to drink or use drugs. Recovery means even more than being able to make up for past mistakes, make amends with those you’ve hurt, and start a new life free from the bondage of your disease.
Recovery means that you are finally at peace with yourself.
At Thrive Treatment, we believe the “treatment” portion of recovery is but one aspect of a much, much larger journey, and we strive to build clients into individuals that are ready to tackle post-treatment recovery with as much gusto as they tackled treatment itself.
Life after treatment may not necessarily be easy. In fact, there may be many times where things seem the exact opposite of easy. However, learning how to apply the strategies you learned in treatment to life afterward can make you a more confident, resilient person that’s ready for anything life throws at you. With the right attitude, every challenge you may face in life after treatment will introduce a new opportunity for you to grow stronger, wiser, and better equipped to conquer whatever comes next.
Making the most of life after treatment
After treatment at any addiction facility, it’s not abnormal for graduates to experience a mix of feelings. How will their family react to them now? What will they do for work? Will they be able to stay sober when there are temptations and stimulations around every corner?
In short, the answers to these questions can be hard. Although many outpatient treatment facilities like Thrive Treatment try their best to prepare clients for their eventual return to the rest of the world, it can still be a shock to find that you are, indeed out on your own.
That’s why the best way to get your feet on the ground is to find residence in a structured sober living, get plugged in with an alumni group, surround yourself with others who will champion your recovery, and remember that the recovery journey is a marathon, not a sprint. Making the most of life after treatment means being able to enjoy life safely and without the temptation of substances, but that journey is just beginning after leaving the treatment center. Patience is key.
Plugging into alumni groups
Here at Thrive Treatment, we champion alumni groups because we know just how beneficial a solid and extended connection with peers from treatment can be. As an outpatient facility, we place a premium on motivating our clients to forge lasting connections with people that will inspire them to do more, be more, and make their recovery journey richer and more fulfilling. Addiction recovery is not a solitary endeavor, and the importance of a tribe that motivates and supports one another is huge.
Having an alumni group to turn to after treatment gives you the confidence to step out of your comfort zone and the reassurance that your journey is one that you don’t have to face on your own. There’s a reason that treatment is most effective in a collaborative environment, and why The Big Book suggests the group environment as one of the best and most effective ways to treat a myriad of addictions. In fact, the very description of AA– as a “fellowship of men and
women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other” confirms the power of groups in recovery. Tribes are important, and they work in both treatment and post-treatment to help you make the most out of your process.
Surrounding yourself with the right people
You might have heard a saying similar to this, “You are who you surround yourself with.” This is especially important in life after treatment. Here at Thrive Treatment, we help our clients process and defeat the behaviors that hold them down and keep them stuck in addiction and pain. One of those behaviors is often keeping poor company. In many cases, people get hooked on substances at the urging of a friend or colleague they thought had their best interests at heart, only to see later on that that “friend” was nowhere to be found when their support was needed most for recovery.
There’s no room for those kinds of friendships after treatment. Making the most of life after treatment involves being truly discerning about the people we surround ourselves with. While we can’t control every situation life throws at us, we can make sure that we surround ourselves with good people who truly care about us. After making it through addiction and regaining our confidence in treatment, we deserve nothing less than the best relationships we can find.
Finally, patience is key to making the most of life after treatment. As The Big Book expresses, “patience, tolerance, love, and understanding are the watchwords.” Just as patience was key in treatment itself, it is also key in navigating experiences that we may not expect in living life sober. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is our recovery. The sooner we realize this, the sooner we can learn to use any mistakes we may make as learning experiences, and grow in the recovery process.
At Thrive Treatment of Santa Monica, California, our outpatient treatment services provide the very best in addiction recovery. If you are suffering from addiction, call us at (888)975-8474 today. Addiction isn’t final. Make the decision to get help today.