Attending a rehab program can often be life-changing in many ways. Many people who participate in such programs are finally able to achieve sobriety, which can sometimes be challenging to do on your own. They are designed to support you during your recovery and to provide you with invaluable tools. Many people realize that completing these types of programs will push them outside their comfort zone and will bring about numerous changes. However, one thing that you may have not considered is how your social life may change once you go back into normal society. While this change may not be easy at first, it is not necessarily a bad thing. Many addicts tend to associate with other addicts. Their social lives may revolve around going out to parties or spending time with people they use with. Additionally, many addicts turn to substance abuse due to relationship issues in their personal lives. If you have problems with your family or your significant other, this can be challenging to navigate. Often, many behaviors will need to be adjusted upon leaving rehab to ensure long term success.
EVALUATING YOUR SOCIAL LIFE
If many of your friends are also addicts, spending a lot of time with them can often be detrimental to your sobriety. This is because it is easy to fall back into old habits if you put yourself into an environment where substance abuse is normalized. Every situation is different, and no group of friends will be the same. Some may be supportive of your path, and you may end up being a good influence on them. However, some groups may not be invested in your success and could even pressure you into using again. It can be helpful for you to evaluate your social life to determine what changes need to be made. If you have close relationships with other addicts, you may not always need to cut them out of your life completely. You might need to create healthy boundaries. For example, you could ask them not to use around you, or you could only meet up to do fun activities in public, such as going to a movie or shopping. It would be difficult for them to use in front of you in this type of environment. You could also explore limiting your visits for a while and only talking on the phone or online until you feel more stable.
In other instances, it might be best to walk away, especially if the only thing you have in common is your substance abuse and if you know your friends will not build you up and support you. Overall, this is an incredibly difficult situation to navigate, and it can be beneficial to speak to a counselor while you are in rehab or afterward to get some valuable insight. A professional will be knowledgeable about what potential outcomes you may face regarding your social life after rehab, and they will likely be able to help you to make well-informed decisions based on the specific scenario that will put you on the best path.
DEALING WITH PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS
As previously mentioned, many addicts have issues with their family or significant others. Often, addiction can drive a wedge between addicts and the people they care for the most. This is due to several reasons. For example, substance abuse can lead to paranoia, aggression, and unreliability. You may have become withdrawn during your addiction and may have spent less time with your loved ones, or you may have lashed out at them without fully knowing the consequences of your actions. Additionally, many addicts can become untruthful if they are trying to hide their substance abuse. They may lie to get funds to support their habit, or they may disappear at random to use.
In other cases, some addicts may have had issues in their relationships before they became addicted to substances, which may have, in part, lead them to use in the first place. In situations like this, you must find ways to build up your relationships, forgive, and set healthy boundaries once you have left rehab. If you consistently place yourself in a toxic environment, this could potentially lead to a relapse because you will be under too much stress. It is important that you find ways to make peace with everyone in your life. You might want to consider apologizing for any issues you may have caused within the relationship and find ways that you can begin to repair any damage. Sometimes, the other parties may not be willing to change or to accept your apology. In this case, it can be helpful to set boundaries. You may want to create a bit of distance, which may give them time to heal. Ultimately, as previously mentioned, every relationship is different, and relationships can sometimes be incredibly challenging to navigate. Again, if you have problems in your personal life, this is something you should try to be open and honest about with a therapist during and after rehab. The main goal should be to create a stable and healthy environment in which you can thrive and reach your full potential.
Overall, rehab will likely bring about many changes in your social life. However, you should try to approach the subject with optimism. You can look at it as an opportunity to grow and heal. You can attempt to repair any damage you may have caused to your relationships during the troughs of your addiction. You might also be able to build healthy relationships with new people during your stay at rehab. You will be surrounded by other people who know your struggle and who want to create a better life for themselves. It may be helpful to keep in contact with some of these people so that you can share your journey. Just know that they may also be tempted to use again. Therefore, you should do your best to support them and discourage any negative behaviors. Although your social and personal life may transform after rehab, you will have the option to adopt a healthy perspective and to make better decisions that could positively impact the rest of your life. Consistency, determination, and optimism can go a long way towards helping you to achieve your goals.