Dahlia Foundation Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation & De-Addiction Centre, Mumbai

Addiction Blog

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Tips to smoothen and ensure your reintegration into normal life after your rehabilitation process

Some of the simple things to implement in order to smoothen and ensure your reintegration into normal life (family life, social circles, career...) after your rehabilitation process.
1. Keep it simple. Take it easy.
Once you have come back from the Rehabilitation Centre, you will first need time to adjust to the external world once again. Everything will feel a lot different, a lot of thoughts and plans that you have made back in the Rehab will excite you. Some nervousness will creep in - particularly when resuming your studies or work or meeting relatives and friends. If you are unemployed at that time, the keenness to get a job as fast as possible will excite you. If you are running your own business, the thoughts of making up for the lost time and surging ahead will spring  you  up.

But Wait... jumping straight into any of this is an invitation for a relapse. WHY? Simple. You have spent a few months in an environment completely different from where you are now. Remember that when you first got into the Rehab, you took some time to understand what's going on. You took some time to adjust. Right?

The same thing applies. Of course it's your home, college, workplace etc. You have seen them before for years. Nothing has changed. Or has it? Yes. something has changed. The change is you, yourself.

To do justice to the sacrifices you made in the rehabilitation process, you will need to give your new self some time. No, we are not talking of a few months here. But take the 2 first weeks easy... do not venture out too much. Stay with your family as much  as you can, watch some Television, eat well, take short morning or evening walks, surf the internet... get back in touch with friends (the good ones - not those who will lead you down the addiction path), if needed apply online for a new job. But by and large stay with your family. Talk to them. Share your experiences, your thoughts and your plans for the future. Reflect once again on your plans and stick to the routine you practiced at the Rehab as much as you can. Do not forget prayers, meditation and yoga. You give this a miss at this stage, you will most likely miss them forever.

 2. Remember, First things First
Start moving out slowly. Make a list of the most fundamental things that you need to put in place. Address them one by one. Don't worry if you do not get immediate results. For example do not worry if your first couple of job interviews do not go well enough or a business deal dos not go through. DONT LET THESE BE AN EXCUSE OR A TRIGGER FOR A RELPASE. Sooner than later, some opportunity will fall in place. This time around, chersih it, nurture it and they will bear fruit.

Do not make the same mistakes that you made previously. (E.g., taking your job lightly and shirking work or studies for your pleasure). Remember - To commit a mistake is human. But to keep repeating the same mistake is insanity.

So, just move one step at a time and rebuild a strong base this time around. Slowly but steadily, you will do much better than ever before.

3. Do not go into a shell to avoid people with who you may have wronged in the past.
Do not go about running around to make amends. Neither should you shy away from people who you may have wronged in the past. just be natural, say a hello, exchange pleasantries if you meet them. Often, you will be surprised to see that they are as keen as you to let bygones be bygones.If your heart says so, render a simple apology. Most likely it will be accepted.

4. Stay in touch with your Counselor/Sponsor/A.A. or N.A. group.
Follow up with your counselor or sponsor on a daily basis for the first couple of months. Visit the Rehab on weekends. This will keep you in touch with your peer group and will give you a sense that you do have a support group. You may also choose to attend meetings at a local Alcoholic Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous group. You must have heard the phrase "90 days, 90 meetings". Well, 90 days is about 3 months.

Understand that these meetings are held around the world at about 7 P.M. Why? Because it is a time when you are most vulnerable to loneliness and temptations or are tired after coming from work. Going to a meeting will keep you occupied, engaged and enable you to share you feelings with a peer group.This will serve as an anchor to keep you away from addiction.

6. Keep away from things, people and places connect you to your addiction days.
If you have to avoid anything at all, it is the people, things and places that you have been connected with during your addiction days. They will invite and tempt you back into addiction. Just stay away from them. Do not worry about your friends. Do not try to improve them or recommend them to rehabilitation immediately. You will not be taken seriously. Not for a few months, for a few years. Not until you stay clean and they see you successful, happy and clean from addiction. Leave this to the seniors to guide them.

After a few years, you will be in a position to spread the message to other young addicts and help save their lives.

5. Remember to take your daily inventory.
Take an honest inventory of your actions everyday. If you have tended to your responsibilities or done something good for someone else, appreciate yourself. If you have shirked any responsibility, make sure that you take a note to attend to it as soon as possible. If you have hurt someone, make amends and if you cannot make amends, ask God for forgiveness. Then proceed to chalk out the tasks and approximate schedules for the next day and move ahead to achieve success, happiness and a clean and sober life one step at a time, one day at a time.

6. Do not forget the use of the Serenity Prayer every day and especially in difficult situations.
H.A.L.T. (Hunger, Anger, Loneliness and Tiredness) & F.E.A.R. (Fear, Ego, Anxiety and Resentment). They are the invisible devils that work as triggers.Learn to recognize them.  You can deal with Hunger, Loneliness and Tiredness by eating well, talking to your sponsor or just meditating and relaxing. But Anger, Fear, Resentment and Ego are a lot difficult to deal with. The most powerful tool at your hand in such situations is the Serenity Prayer -'God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can and the Wisdom to know the Difference'. 

Close your eyes, take abut 5 deep breaths and say the serenity prayer in your mind. Your faith in God will guide you to the right decision to be taken at these difficult times.

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