• Scott McClure

The Struggles of Living Sober: Challenges to Overcome Post Residential Treatment

The first step towards recovery is realizing and admitting to your inner-most self that alcohol and /or drugs have impacted your life and the lives of your loved ones to the point that life has become unmanageable and trying to quit on your own has failed countless times.  A medical detox is usually necessary before an individual begins treatment in a residential treatment facility.  While in treatment, you have a supportive environment that makes it easier for you to stay sober. It provides you with the needed tools and techniques to deal with life post rehab.

Although moving on from residential treatment can be an exciting chapter in your life, it can also be a daunting one. You’ll be faced with many challenges that can veer you off-track as you try to transition from residential treatment into your new life in recovery.  

Building New Coping Strategies

Getting sober doesn’t just entail not using drugs or alcohol again.  They were merely a symptom of an underlying problem or issue, that was being self-medicated with alcohol and/or drugs. It means changing your lifestyle completely and living life in a different way than you had been living once the alcohol and/or drugs took total of your daily existence. A major part of dealing with your sober life is developing the right coping techniques and strategies to help you deal with cravings, anxiety, and stress.  One of the most important tools that you will begin to develop and implement while living in a sober home environment is figuring out which coping skills and strategies work best for you in dealing with the challenges you will face without relapsing.

Dealing with the Emotional Stressors Without Drugs or Alcohol

During addiction, people come to rely on drugs and alcohol as makeshift crutches. Substance abuse helps them deal with emotional trauma, anxiety, stress, shame, depression and more. While in rehab, the recovery process includes battling with your inner stressors without relying on addictive substances. But when leaving treatment, you will be leaving the safe and supportive bubble that had provided the time to separate from the “real world” as you focused all of your energy on your recovery.  Before this happens, however, it is vital to have a solid detailed aftercare plan in place that includes sober living, during this transitional period.

Repairing Old Relationships and Building New Ones

Those in recovery find that although their addiction had almost completely ruined their personal well-being, it had indeed ruined many important connections and relationships with those that they loved the most.  Most people in early recovery find it difficult to put aside the guilt they feel for the all the pain and wreckage they caused their loved ones when they were in active addiction.  All recovery programs from a 12-step peer-based recovery program to S.M.A.R.T. Recovery give you the chance to make amends to those you have hurt but it is later in the recovery process before it is suggested to take such action.  Your new life in long-term recovery also includes building new connections and developing a support group of friends that can provide you with encouragement, strength, support and can show you what living a life in recovery looks like through their actions and interactions with others.  This is an ever changing and evolving process that lasts a lifetime.  


After you’ve left the safety net at rehab, relapse can become one of the biggest challenges you’ll have to face post residential treatment will be staying away from the comfort of old situations and old acquaintances.  Another big challenge you will face will be the ability to set and maintain healthy boundaries from anything or anyone that could trigger all the cravings, anxiety, and stress that lead to most of your dinking and using to begin with.  This is why having a support group of people in the same situation as you is so important in early recovery.

Boredom and Inactivity

During rehab, you’ll be made to follow a daily structured schedule which includes therapy sessions, support group meetings, personal reflection, meals, and free time. After residential treatment, you will find yourself with a lot of spare time at your hands. This can be a very real threat to your sobriety. Before treatment, all of your free time went into abusing alcohol and/or drugs.

Deciding to move into a sober living home after you’ve completed a residential treatment program can provide you with the structure you need as well as the support, understanding and compassion from the staff and men of the house to maintain your recovery momentum can help you find your purpose in life again and provide you with the desire that you MUST have in order to successfully transition from residential treatment into your new reality as a brave man in recovery, learning to walk through life without the need of alcohol and/or drugs to manage and cope.

A New Life

Recovering from addiction is a daily battle, sometimes it is an hourly battle and having the support of those going through the same struggles along with those in long-term recovery on your side, to lean on, will make all the difference between staying clean and sober or perhaps a relapse that could take your life.

Here at Life Launch, we offer aftercare treatment in the form of sober living homes and halfway houses in Houston, Texas. Our transitional sober living can help recovering clients battle relapse and lead healthier, happier lives.

Call us now on 713.266.1507 for more details.




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