One of the biggest misconceptions about addiction recovery is that it ends after you complete a rehab program. Addiction recovery is a lifelong process and the transition from rehab to everyday life can be one of the most difficult stages. In fact, the National Institute of Drug Abuse reports that the addiction relapse rate is between 40 to 60%.
Thankfully, sober living homes are available to ease this transition and provide people in early recovery with the support they need. However, recovery is never easy, and you will still face challenges during a sober living program. Here are the 7 most common challenges you may face in sober living and how to overcome them.
1. Developing Healthy Coping Mechanisms
When you are in sober living, you will be learning how to live life outside of a treatment facility. However, you may still experience triggers that could cause you to crave alcohol or drugs. As a result, you will need to develop healthy coping mechanisms to manage these triggers and prevent yourself from experiencing a relapse.
Developing healthy coping mechanisms can be difficult, especially if you are not receiving advice and support from others. The best way to overcome this obstacle is to work with a therapist, attend recovery support groups, and discuss with your sober friends to find out what works best for them.
Examples of healthy coping mechanisms include:
- Breathing exercises
- Mindfulness techniques
- Meditation or yoga
- Music and art therapy
- Behavioral therapy
- Group counseling
- Talking with sober supports
- Exercise and healthy eating or sleeping habits
2. Living in Close Quarters With Others
When you are in a sober living home, you usually share a house or even your bedroom with other people. Sharing a living space with strangers can be difficult, especially if you were the type to isolate yourself during your addiction. Living so close to other people could cause you to experience confrontations, which can be difficult to navigate without the proper social skills and healthy emotional regulation techniques.
Thankfully, there are ways to overcome these roommate issues. By participating in group counseling or having weekly house meetings, you can learn how to effectively communicate your problems with others. Group discussions can teach you how to manage interpersonal issues that might arise during sober living, or just from being around people in general.
3. Repairing Broken Relationships
Many people who are in sober living begin working the 12 steps because recovery support groups are often a requirement among sober living homes and can reduce the risk of relapse. One part of the 12-step recovery process is making amends for your past mistakes and attempting to repair broken relationships. This can be difficult, heartbreaking, and even triggering without the proper coping mechanisms.
To overcome issues related to repairing broken relationships, the first thing you should do is never have any expectations. Sometimes, it takes a long time to repair certain past harms. By managing your expectations, you can prevent yourself from experiencing significant disappointments.
In other words, give yourself and your friends or family the space and time you both need to heal.
4. Finding Your Purpose in Life
Before you got sober, you probably did not consider what your purpose in life was. It’s likely that the only thing you were concerned with was chasing that next drink or drug. Once you get sober, not knowing what your purpose in life is can be extremely distressing.
To overcome this obstacle, you should begin figuring out who you are as a person. Try out new hobbies or apply for a variety of jobs. Consider going back to school for the degree you are passionate about.
5. Navigating Finances and Work
One of the most difficult parts of sober living is having to obtain a job and manage your finances. During rehab, you did not have to worry about learning how to work as a sober person. The stress of money and having a job can trigger even the best of us to crave substances.
Thankfully, sober living programs are designed to help you through this process. Talk to your housemates about your struggles, reach out to your therapist about how to manage stress, and consider asking the house manager for vocational resources.
6. Keeping Your Mental Health in Check
If you struggle with a mental health condition, managing your symptoms can be difficult during sober living. Because you are learning how to stay sober in the real world, trying to balance work and your recovery, and learning how to manage your finances, your mental health might begin to take the back burner.
Learning how to keep your mental health in check while you are doing all of these new things is of the utmost importance. Without good mental health, you could quickly backslide and experience a relapse. As a result, it is important to continue attending individual therapy, taking your medication, and reaching out for support when you need it.
7. Learning How to Have Fun Sober
Lastly, many people struggle to understand how to have fun without drugs and alcohol. Part of this can be blamed on society as a whole, as most fun adult activities involve alcohol in some manner. However, there are plenty of ways you can have fun without being tempted to abuse drugs or alcohol.
Some examples of fun and sober activities include:
- Dance classes
- Rock climbing
- Bowling or mini golf
- Art museums or pottery classes
- Escape rooms
- Adult sports teams
- Hiking or camping
Find a Sober Living Home in Broward County Today
If you or a loved one are nearing the end of your addiction treatment program, you might be wondering what’s next. The best thing you can do upon leaving a drug and alcohol rehab center is attend a sober living housing program. At New You Sober Living, we can provide you with all of the support and tools you need to maintain long-term sobriety and prevent relapse.
To learn more about our highly-rated sober living homes in South Florida, contact New You Sober Living today.
- National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA): The Science of Addiction Treatment and Recovery, Retrieved May 2023 From https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/treatment-recovery