During rehab you will have a large amount of constant support to rely on. These people will have been there during your initial withdrawal and continued to guide you throughout the early stages of recovery. This compassion and knowingness you have someone to lean on can be very comforting, but what about when you leave rehab. Support may not be so readily available for some. Being unable to pre-determine who can help you after rehab could lead you to feel stuck, confused and powerless. It is these very emotions that begin to stack up and weigh against a healthy recovery. For some of these people, a relapse could be imminent, yet preventable by planning ahead. Whether you’re going to rehab, are already in treatment or have just completed a program, it’s important to have a recovery plan in place. Part of this plan includes making a list of all the people who can help you after rehab. By identifying these individuals or groups, you will be able to have a strong system in place and thereby, better prevent a relapse.
Find a Sponsor
Prior to leaving an addiction treatment centre, you may be advised to find a sponsor when you return home. This man or woman will be someone who has experienced a drug or alcohol addiction and understands the hardships which can ensue during sobriety. They will have been sober for an excess amount of time and be ready and able to help a newly sober person out. Many people will find a sponsor in a recovery meeting like AA or NA. Your sponsor will be a person you can call 24/7. Should you be struggling with a situation, be triggered by an event or just need someone to talk to, your sponsor will be there.
Talk to a Counsellor
For some people, especially those who have experienced a trauma or have PTSD, continuous counselling sessions will be advisable even after rehab. The reason for this is that it often takes months or years to fully “heal” from such events or experiences. It’s important to have someone you know you can trust and open up to about sensitive information. Counsellors will act as this safety net while being able to provide you with valuable guidance and advice.
Reach out to a Loved One
Having a close family member or friend who knows and understands your situation can help your overall recovery. These people may know you better than anyone else and be able to identify emotional or mental crisis’s before they spiral out of control. Ideally, a loved one will be there for you no matter what. They’ll support you without judgment and help you to stay on the right track. Separate to making a list of the people who can help you after rehab, consider making a list of various sober friends and family members who will also be there for you.
Seek a Recovery Coach
Different to a sponsor, a recovery coach is a form of strength based support to receive during recovery. This individual will work with you to help you make decisions about what to do with your life, find ways to maintain a healthy recovery and reduce harm which could be associated with addictive behaviours. In general, they do not help to overcome past traumas and there is not a lot of emphasis on feelings. Recovery coaches may help you to find additional support and create various goals and plans to aid in your sobriety.
Attend Support Groups
If you’re feeling like you’d rather be in a group environment, there are a variety of offline and online support groups available. If you’ve been to rehab, you already will know what support groups are like. If not, these are places in which you’ll gather with other people who are in similar situations. They will be able to understand what you’re going through, give advice or even reach out for support from you. They’re often anonymous, free and non-judgmental. If you don’t know what support groups to attend, you can begin by following a few of these links.
Write Everything Down
Perhaps you are unable to reach out to one of the above individuals or groups. Maybe you feel like you cannot talk to anyone. While we would always encourage you to do so, if that’s not an option, try writing your thoughts down. Also known as journaling, this type of therapy is very effective for alleviating hard or negative feelings while allowing you to see the whole picture. Best of all, writing can be done anywhere at any time. You can share your words with a counsellor, loved one or sponsor to get their thoughts and opinions. Even if you have people to help you after rehab, writing is a highly recommended recovery tool.