If you or a loved one of yours have just completed rehab, that is a great accomplishment to celebrate. A lot of hard work must have gone into this critical phase of your recovery. Despite completing a treatment program, there are still many pitfalls to be aware of in early recovery. This transitional phase can be essential to your long-term recovery. You need to continue the hard work while watching out for some potential risks.
Common Pitfalls of Early Recovery
Recovering individuals in this transitional time are particularly vulnerable because they need to adapt to life while maintaining sobriety. If the living environment of rehab has been strengthened with many guardrails, then real-life removes these guardrails while letting many day-to-day stressors in. One needs to deal with old habits and temptations in life. This is partly why relapse during early sobriety is so common.
One common pitfall among recovering individuals is the haste to get things right. You might feel better and want to prove your success by bringing family and friends back, but too much socializing can disrupt your rhythm of rest and even your recovery progress. The best way is to slow down and gain more strength with each passing day.
Some people are eager to get back into intimate relationships right away after rehab. However, most recovery experts warn against getting involved in romantic relationships during early sobriety. This is because romantic relationships may create extra emotional stress even for people with no addiction history. Recovering individuals are already struggling to manage their own emotions, let alone someone else’s feelings. There is also the risk of developing an unhealthy codependence.
This does not mean that you only need self-reliance. There needs to be a strong and sober support system around you. Social withdrawal or isolation can only create a kind of boredom that might trigger a relapse. You need to balance “me time” and social time. The safest way is to carry on the same routine to relax and reflect as you did during rehab treatment. Then gradually integrate socializing into the picture. Always prioritize sobriety and rest during these activities.
Stages of Recovery
You may wonder how long early sobriety lasts and what comes after it. Usually, recovery experts consider a year after rehab as a phase of early sobriety. Between one year and five years is considered sustained sobriety. People who have maintained their sobriety for longer than five years are considered to have achieved stable sobriety.
Even in early sobriety, the first ninety days are considered the most critical and foundational time for a healthy lifestyle to take root. This is also a time when relapse is most likely to happen. You need to diligently apply sober living skills and emotional coping skills in order to succeed.
Afterward, you can create short-term and long-term goals to clarify where you want to be. For example, making 30-day goals or 3-month goals can motivate and encourage commitment as you move forward in this journey. It is important that you hope for the best but plan for the worst. Having a relapse prevention or intervention plan at hand keeps you alert and prepared.
The Benefits of Aftercare Programs
After nine to twelve months, many recovering individuals may get complacent, thinking that they have arrived at stable sobriety. They feel like everything is under control now, and therefore they no longer need therapy or support groups. They may also neglect exercise or meditation. Cutting corners in your recovery regimen is risky. This is why you need to stay connected with the aftercare programs of your rehab center.
Aftercare programs are essential because substance addiction is a chronic disease and recovery requires constant maintenance. Surrounded by health professionals and recovering peers, you gain a sense of belonging, which can benefit your motivation and sense of accountability. Many aftercare programs also provide additional support for your academic study or work-related issues.
Apart from relapse prevention, aftercare programs also help with other needs, including sober housing, coaching, and alumni events. These methods of continuing support can reduce the likelihood of relapse, no matter what stage of recovery you’re in. If you are looking for a quality treatment center, make sure to check if they have good aftercare programs that offer the kind of help you need.
After rehab, both your internal determination and external support matter to sustained recovery. You need to know that addiction recovery is more like a marathon, not a sprint. Be mentally prepared for the long haul, but also celebrate small day-to-day victories. With a supportive recovery community, this journey can also be filled with fun and purpose.
Completing rehab and detox is a great accomplishment to celebrate, but early sobriety requires a lot more work. This transitional phase can be critical to your long-term recovery. You need to continue the hard work while watching out for the potential risks. At Capo Canyon Recovery, near Mission Viejo, CA, we take pride in our holistic healing methods, which are incremental to your long-term recovery. We focus on each stage of recovery in our inpatient residential care and outpatient, long-term care programs that offer curated benefits for each client. We provide unmatched comfort during your stay with an in-house chef, luxurious beds, and our organic garden. At Capo Canyon Recovery, you will feel confident on your path to long-term sobriety. By coaching you to cope with upcoming stress and challenges, you can start your journey with our experienced recovery experts today. Call us at (800) 804-8714.