Sober living homes and communities give people a safe, supportive environment after completing rehab. The support from peers and staff can be invaluable during the earliest days of addiction recovery and provides a bridge between rehab and the “real world.” But what happens when it’s time to move out and continue your journey with sobriety in your everyday life?
Many people have some level of anxiety about leaving the comfort and support of a sober living home. Understanding some of the challenges that may arise can help you prepare to transition back into your everyday life and make it a better experience.
Reach out to the friendly team at New You Sober Living to explore our sober living programs or find support during recovery.
What Are Common Challenges of Life After Sober Living?
Transitioning back into your regular routine can feel a little strange after spending time in a sober living home. While a lot of this discomfort is to be expected and will pass with time, there are some common challenges people face during life after sober living.
Your everyday routine is full of people, responsibilities, and situations that can distract you from your recovery. Work and family can demand a lot of your attention and energy–and focusing primarily on other things can lead to problems down the road.
It’s understandable that your family, work, or other responsibilities would become important to you–and they should. But it’s critical to prioritize your recovery. Don’t skip appointments or miss meetings, even if it means you need to rearrange other parts of your life.
Everyday life is often full of stressors, both large and small. If you don’t have or use the tools to manage stress in a healthy way, you’re more likely to start using drugs or alcohol again. It’s important to continue going to therapy and 12-step meetings and use the tools you learned in rehab to reduce stress.
Untreated substitute addictions
Some people give up drugs and alcohol only to develop an addiction to sex, food, work, shopping, and other things. If you find that you can’t control your behaviors around any other aspect of your life, you may need to seek additional treatment to help you get to the root of your addiction.
Loneliness or boredom
Some people struggle with feelings of boredom or loneliness after leaving a sober living home. It can be challenging to transition into independent living after being surrounded by peers for a long period. Some may also find that their routine goes out the window when they do not have structure or accountability to others.
Create a new routine that includes work or studying, socializing, recovery-related appointments and activities, and rest. Include time for regular chores and meals, and schedule time for exercise several times per week or more.
Understanding Relapse After Leaving Sober Living
Recent research shows that relapse is common for people in recovery. About 9 in 10 people with an alcohol use disorder (AUD) drink again within the first four years after rehab. Between 40 and 60% of those living with substance abuse disorders (SUD) have a relapse at some point in their recovery.
These numbers may seem discouraging, but they don’t have to be. A relapse may be a significant event in a person’s life. People who relapse may wonder if they are ready for sobriety, or it may make them question their ability to remain sober for the rest of their lives.
However, a relapse can also teach you a lot about where you are in your recovery journey. You can reflect on what happened and how you felt before the relapse. It can help you identify skills you’re missing or support that you still need to find. You can look at the relapse as more information about what you need and where you’re still growing.
Many people also identify the need for additional treatment after a relapse. It’s common for people to require several rounds of treatment before finally leaving their addiction behind.
How to Avoid Relapse in Life After Sober Living
Here are some tips to consider as you transition into life after sober living.
1. Avoid toxic relationships
Don’t call up old friends or people who are still using drugs or alcohol. Invest in new relationships that support your goal of lifelong sobriety.
2. Steer clear of toxic environments
Don’t go back to places that remind you of when you were using drugs or alcohol. Avoid your dealer’s house, bars, old hangouts, or any other place that may trigger the urge to use or drink again.
3. Find support
You’ll need a strong support system you can trust as you transition into life after sober living. Your friends, family, medical practitioners, and sober living peers have witnessed your progress and know you well. They’ll be good advocates for you during recovery and can alert you to any concerns they notice.
Learn More About Life After Sober Living
At New You Sober Living, we provide our clients with the tools and resources they need to be successful during sober living and beyond. If you need support as you transition back into your everyday life after sober living, reach out to the specialists at New You Sober Living today. Call us to explore our supportive sober living programs or with any questions you have.