Rehab can be a turning point in one’s life. Leaving and returning to your previous life can also be scary and anxiety inducing. If you have spent the summer in rehab you may be wondering how you can go back to school like everything is normal. Here are some tips for going back to school after spending the summer in rehab.
- Be gentle with yourself. You just finished treatment for a potentially fatal illness. If a friend had just spent the summer battling cancer, you’d probably tell her not to sweat the small stuff. You are learning to go to school sober. Be gentle with yourself as you learn this new way of being.
- Get support. Just because you left rehab doesn’t mean you have to be alone. Whether your support is a good friend, a counselor, or a sponsor from a 12 step program, remember you don’t have to do recovery alone.
- Have fun. If any part of you thinks life can’t be fun without drugs and alcohol tell that voice you are putting it on mute. Many people in recovery report having more fun and more joy sober than they ever did drinking and using. Start by making a list of things to do that might be fun sober. Then find a friend to do one of them.
- Sit in the front row. If you have a choice of where to sit, choose the front. You may be used to hiding in the back. Not only is it easier to focus on what is being taught when you are in the front row, but you are also less likely to get into trouble there.
- Ask for help. Early recovery can be a roller coaster of emotions. You might be having a great morning and then suddenly want to cry as you are walking to your next class. It’s ok. Call someone. Go see your counselor. Pray. There is no shame in asking for help.
- Make new friends. While it’s possible to stay clean and sober while in the presence of those that are not, in early recovery it’s really hard. Letting go of your using friends and developing friendships with other sober people can be a great way to learn to do life sober.
- Be prepared. We all know schools are rumor mills. Be prepared with a short, brief statement about how you spent your summer. You get to decide how much you share. It might be something like I spent my summer working on my health. It might be as transparent as I have a substance abuse problem and I spent the summer in rehab. It could be I spent the summer learning how to live sober. Keep it short and sweet.
- Write gratitude lists. This is a big transition in your life. Some days it might feel like everyone is against you and other days it might feel like things couldn’t get better. No matter how you feel start your day each day with a gratitude list. Make a list of at least 5 things you are grateful for.
While your friends were working on their tan at the beach or traveling through Europe, you were working to save your life. You have a lot to be proud of. Life after rehab can be scary. It can also be the most magical time of your life. You choose.
Higher standards. Exceptional care. When you send your loved one to a New Vista Behavioral Health treatment center, you can expect better outcomes for a better recovery. Our nationwide family of facilities offers the best in dual diagnosis care, residential treatment, medical detox, and the utmost privacy. Call us today for information and to find the right program for you: 866-926-1498