Maintaining Your Sober Community Immediately After Leaving Your Sober Facility
Leaving a sober facility can be both exciting and daunting. Healing enough to be able to set out on your own is a major accomplishment and a giant stride in your recovery process. Maintaining a sober lifestyle outside of the support and understanding of your sober community is another challenge. Facing your friends and family, returning to work, and rebuilding your life can be difficult as you encounter triggers that test your coping mechanisms. Luckily, there are ways to maintain your sober community after leaving your sober facility to ensure your long-term success.
Why Maintaining Your Sober Community is Important
The unfortunate truth is that after rehabilitation, 40%-60% of people with addiction will have a relapse. For many, once people leave their recovery program, they return to their former way of life, patterns, and circle of friends. This usually includes other people with substance abuse addiction who can be a bad influence on someone in recovery.
Building and maintaining a sober community means youâ€™re surrounding yourself with people who are understanding and empathetic to your situation. They recognize and appreciate the importance of avoiding certain behaviors and triggers. They realize how hard youâ€™ve worked to overcome your addiction and they want you to succeed. Building a sober community is essential to your long-term recovery in that it helps you to:
- Avoid feeling isolated
- Rebuild social skills
- Stay motivated
Community plays a major role in recovery outcomes. It gives people recovering from substance abuse a sense of belonging and reinforces positive behavior for a better chance of success.
How to Maintain Your Sober Community
After leaving your sober facility, youâ€™ll likely have made some healthy, positive relationships youâ€™ll want to maintain. But youâ€™ll also want to make new friends as you meet new people and continue to rebuild your life after addiction. The key is to find people compatible with your support network. Connect with individuals who:
- Encourage your sobriety
- Avoid exposure to triggers
- Hold you accountable
- Believe in your success
Forming new friendships and building your support system may seem challenging, but there are plenty of ways to achieve this goal. Here are three ways of maintaining your sober community after leaving your sober facility.
1. Join Support Groups
There are countless support groups available, from 12-step programs to faith-based organizations. Joining one of these groups can introduce you to like-minded people with shared experiences who are also working to maintain their sober community. You can find encouragement from people who understand your situation and you can provide accountability for others. Support groups are a great way to connect with people facing similar challenges and can be effective in helping you maintain sobriety.
If youâ€™re looking for a sense of purpose and want to make a difference, volunteer your time. Religious and non-profit organizations like local food banks need man power, and volunteering is a great way to contribute to the community. Spirituality and service can provide a positive environment where you can spend time helping others and gain new perspectives. There, you can build healthy relationships with the recipients of your time as well as other volunteers.
3. Pursue a New Hobby
Keeping busy can be an important aspect of avoiding relapse. As you set out on a new path of continued recovery, this could be the perfect time to pursue a new hobby. Take a class at the local community center. Join the area gym. These activities not only help to relieve stress and build new skills, but also give you the opportunity to meet new people who can help you on your road to recovery.
Maintain Your Sober Community for Ultimate Success
Ethos Recovery is an all-male therapeutic community-based recovery facility that provides support and resources for long-term sobriety. We help those in recovery build skills for self-empowerment and personal development so they can live a healthy, fulfilling life.
Contact us today to see how we can help you on the road to recovery.
Author – Chris Howard
Chris Howard is the Founder and Director of Ethos Recovery. He has a B.A. in Psychology from UCLA and has served as a community advocate/mentor for men and women in recovery since 2010.