Leaving treatment and the readily available support means you will have to face your old friends and old hangouts on your own. Having a plan on how to face people, places, and things is key to your success in recovery. One of the best things you can do is avoid old triggers; however, avoidance is not always possible.
When you see old friends with whom you used alcohol or other substances, those friends may not encourage your recovery. In fact, they may belittle you and call you names. Understanding this is not because of you nor your actions will help you better own your recovery. You are not responsible for the behavior or thoughts of other people. You are only responsible for your own. If an old “friend” belittles your recovery, you need to recognize that person is not your friend.
Changing people, places, and things is one of the hardest actions in post-treatment recovery. You have to relearn how to get to the store or even find a new store. You may need to rearrange furniture to have a whole new setting to make it easier to avoid alcohol and other substances. Eliminating triggers or settings that make recovery difficult is a part of owning your recovery.
3 Aspects of Owning Your Recovery
#1. Be Honest
Owning your recovery means that you are honest with the people in your life who know about your history of abusing alcohol or other substances. When you meet an old friend and are asked to join them in old behaviors, you need to excuse yourself and tell your sponsor or a loved one supporting you in your recovery. You also need to tell that “friend” that you are no longer engaging in those behaviors.
By being honest, you are alerting others that you are serious about your recovery. You are setting boundaries with people and asking for help. Your old “friends” may no longer want to be friends, but that is not a reflection of who you are; their response shows where they are in their own behaviors. Being honest about where you are shows that you are committed to your recovery.
#2. Explore Other Interests
Having a history of abusing alcohol or other substances is not your only history. You have a history of other interests, events, and people in your life that have nothing to do with alcohol and other substance use. You did not always abuse alcohol or other substances.
If you are unable to identify those old interests, then start finding new interests. Take a class. Volunteer. Find a new group of people to call your friends. Do not limit yourself to your old life. The time has come to build a new life. You have family and friends that support you, so ask for their support as you begin building interests outside of addiction.
#3. Set Boundaries
While developing new interests and making new friends is key to your continued recovery, having boundaries is important. When you make new friends, they may engage in some behaviors that you do not want in your life. You do not have to join them, nor explain why you are not joining them in their behaviors. You can leave the setting and leave those friends.
You have to set boundaries for yourself. You need to avoid the people, places, and things that you know are dangerous to your recovery. If that means you have to keep leaving situations and keep looking for new friends, then that may be what you have to do. Setting boundaries is not easy but necessary for your recovery.
Owning your recovery when you leave treatment is the only way to sustain your recovery. Ask for help and be honest about your needs. You cannot tackle complete recovery on your own. You need support from family, friends, and your Higher Power. Identifying resources to own your new life is the best thing you can do for yourself. You are not alone in your recovery.
However, you do need to seek out support and own your recovery in front of others. You need to work with your sponsor of the 12-Step group you join, as well as your family, to ensure you remain strong in your recovery. Having boundaries for yourself and others will ensure continued success. Owning your recovery only happens when you are honest about your experiences and are willing to do the work necessary to build your new life.
Leaving treatment is scary when you consider the life you left behind. Building a new life takes effort in finding new people, places, and things to replace what you left in your old patterns of addiction. When you entered treatment, you dedicated yourself to a new life. Now, you have to own your recovery outside the four walls of readily available support. Renaissance Ranch takes every part of recovery seriously and recognizes your need for assistance even after you leave treatment. Understanding your continued need for support is why Renaissance Ranch offers outpatient services both in-person and online, a sober living home, and the Band of Brothers alumni support group. Your recovery will always be taken seriously at Renaissance Ranch. Own your recovery and reach out to us and start the life you deserve, whether you are just now considering treatment or want support as you continue on your road to recovery. Call us at (801) 308-8898 today.