Most individuals who struggle with addiction acknowledge that living a satisfying lifestyle outside of inpatient care requires constant attention. It also requires avoiding temptation — a difficult challenge, especially when alcohol and drugs can be nearly everywhere. You can learn to enjoy your abstinent lifestyle, however, by taking a few thought out steps.
Get Good at Saying No
Your addiction might be first and foremost on your mind, but many people you meet won’t give your old habits a second thought. It’s inevitable that others will innocently insist you “stay for just one drink” or smoke a joint because “marijuana isn’t addictive.”
Staying sober means staying honest, and you have to get comfortable saying, “Thanks, but no thanks. When I use alcohol or drugs, I just can’t seem to stop.” Though your addiction is part of your past, ownership of that is part of your present. If the pleas persist, walk away and call a supportive friend.
Find a Festive, Non-Alcoholic Alternative
Although avoiding the hangouts you favored during addiction is always wise, there will come a time when you enter a restaurant or party where alcohol or drugs will be available. On these occasions, choose a go-to non-alcoholic drink that lets you feel as if you’re relaxing. Bring a sober friend who provides healthy encouragement, and always leave while you’re still having a good time.
Think About What Made You Feel Good in Rehab
As time passed and your body healed through rehab, you slowly gained strength and learned to relax without drugs and alcohol. Getting a massage, taking a walk, talking to a friend, and spending time with a loved one are all ways you can remind yourself why staying sober is the right choice. If you’re ready to make a bigger commitment, consider adopting a pet. Multiple independent studies indicate that pet owners live happier, more relaxed lifestyles — they can even help fight depression and anxiety.
It Takes Time
The most important thing to remember is that you might not feel happy every day, and that’s okay. Healing takes time, and learning to manage stress and temptation is a unique process that unfolds with each new day.