Life After Rehab

The day comes when you have to go home. My experience with leaving a rehab is that life immediately tries to bite you in the butt. In rehab, there is a schedule that literally tells you what you need to do from the time you get out of bed until you go to bed at night. Many of your decisions are made for you. There are set times to eat and to have free time. When you leave rehab, you immediately start making your own decisions. It is harder than you think.

After 30 days in a rehab, I felt wonderful. I was confident that I would stay sober and be a contributing member of my household. I looked forward to spending time with my husband and my daughters. I had a beautiful home that I couldn’t wait to start taking care of again. I looked forward to seeing friends and family. My girls had missed me of course, and when I got into the car, they had so much to tell me. Both were talking a mile a minute. My husband had things he wanted to tell me as well. It was pretty chaotic and I was feeling extremely nervous. I was smiling on the outside, but my insides were churning. We pulled into our driveway and even the dogs wanted attention. When I walked into the house I felt the pressure hit. I like my house to be spotless and even though my husband had done his best to keep it clean, I saw so much that needed to be taken care of. After a controlled environment for 30 days, suddenly I felt completely out of control. Alcoholics and addicts have to feel in control of everything. In their minds it is the only way to keep chaos at bay. Physically I felt strange also. Everything felt surreal and even my eyesight seemed blurry. I felt completely vulnerable.  I wanted to run back to rehab, but of course that wasn’t possible.

As the days went by, I started to feel better. I started to relax and enjoy being sober. I had a close friend who had been forbidden by her husband to spend time with me. He had found out prior to my going into rehab, that she and I had done cocaine together often. After rehab, he said I was welcome in his home anytime.

We must be vigilant when we come home from rehab. Our addiction patiently waits for us. We have to use whatever tools we learned in rehab immediately. If Alcoholics Anonymous is one of those tools, meetings have to start from day one. We have to be as relentless about sobriety as we were about drinking and using. Good Luck!

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