By Cody McNab

After treatment, as an addict, it may be difficult for us to transition back into the community. Many of us have never had responsibilities. While we are in treatment, we have a lot of daily needs supplied to us, as well as the accountability to the staff. It is easy for us to fall victim to comfortably in treatment, leading us to be unprepared for transition back into society. A large part of success in post-treatment depends on our willingness, but also the environment in which. At the end of treatment, we are all faced with a difficult decision. Depending on our financial situation, or family support, some have better options than others. Some of these options are sober living, moving back with family, or even renting an apartment. First and foremost, we must solely base our decision on which one will provide the best outcome for our future goals.

In the real world, things can happen very fast, and one bad decision can send us down a path of self-destruction. Drugs and alcohol are everywhere. Spiritual principles can guide us through the wars waged inside of our head. But we must build a solid foundation of fellowship who will hold us accountable. Here are a few suggestions based on the different circumstances we may face in early recovery. These may not work for everyone, but we will only know if we try.

  • No matter where we decide to go, we must always remember that we are responsible for ourselves. Our situation is what we make it, regardless of the circumstances. If we want to succeed, and are willing to do whatever it takes to better ourselves, we will always come out on top. Just because somebody else is doing something different, does not mean we are forced to do it yourself. We must stay aware to stay vigilant.
  • Many of us will have to let go of our old irrational beliefs to maintain an environment in which we can feel comfortable. If there are people around us getting loaded it could cause us to slip back into our old ways. Before all, we must focus on reality: this is about us, and others judgments are irrelevant. If it comes to informing someone of our troubles, then we must take proper steps.
  • If we don’t want people around us because we feel they may lead us into temptation, then we need to set healthy boundaries with ourselves and others. Make it known from the very beginning what we will not tolerate. We must remember that we have no control over what other people do, but if we set ourselves up for failure, then that is what we will receive.

It can come as a surprise to many at how unrelenting addiction can be. When in treatment there is far less temptation, and it can be overwhelming at times. The key is to keep our minds busy. Find joy in an activity and then enjoy doing it often! Finding ways to be of service will also help to keep our minds off of relapse. It can also give us a sense of fulfillment knowing we helped someone with no expectations. Another great way to stay busy is with a job. At some point, we will obviously need employment. This may be difficult depending on the effort put in and the jobs we are willing to take. We must humble ourselves and do whatever is necessary. There are jobs everywhere who are ready to hire somebody in recovery, as long as relapse is not on their agenda. A job can not only put us in a better financial state but also continuously keep our mind occupied.

It can be overwhelming becoming responsible and learning how to deal with our emotions without drugs and alcohol. We may also have a fear of being accepted in society, when in our addiction nobody would give us a chance. We have been looked down upon our whole lives, so why bother? The fact is we now have an opportunity to prove our worth. It is all about the willingness we put in, no matter where we are at in life. In treatment, we learn coping skills, and relapse prevention techniques. With some people, the ability to learn, understand, and practice these skills in actual scenarios can be the defining factor in our success. When it comes time actually to use these skills, it’s a different story. It comes down to our desire to live a successful life. We must always stay aware of warning signs. We must refrain from old behaviors and check ourselves when it becomes necessary.

We must set up healthy goals to achieve fulfillment in life, and we must do this for ourselves before all. Sometimes we can forget the struggles of addiction, or even stop caring about the consequences. This thinking will only get us into a worse position than before. We must never develop a hopeless mindset and always remember there is a light at the end of every tunnel, and that life will throw obstacles in our way. The key to success is the ability to overcome these barriers, always making us stronger individuals. Once we develop the goals we want to achieve, we must focus directly on these things. We must be willing to do whatever it takes to stay abstinent from drugs and alcohol, and always try to live our lives based on spiritual principles. We have to let go of our old selfish ways. As long as we continue thinking and acting the same way, we will always get the same results. As soon as we become ungrateful, we begin to lose sight of the positive things in our life. This takes our focus off the importance of staying abstinent from drugs and alcohol.

Also, a good way to avoid negativity is to remain in the program and find hope through attending AA meetings. At some point, we must develop compassion for people who are struggling with similar problems. We must reach out to these people and give them hope through our experience. This outreach not only provides us with a meaningful feeling but also gives our recovery strength, and helps us feel better about the harm we have done in our addiction.

Our level of commitment to not only staying abstinent from drugs and alcohol but also your commitment to building a better foundation of your life is what determines success in recovery. Always remain hopeful, and grateful to be clean and sober for another day. Don’t sweat the small stuff, and love and forgive. Stay in conscious contact with a higher power, and use the knowledge given to overcome. We as addicts are remarkably resilient if given the opportunity. Now is our chance to use the tools, and push forward, becoming something great.