Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) has been a lifesaver for many people. AA not only provides a recovering addict with a community of sober people (or at least trying to stay sober) but there is also an entire philosophy behind life after addiction. AA provides a clear set of guidelines, a map that will direct you out of addiction, and an opportunity to create a new sober life. Many people greatly appreciate this map and all the tools that accompany it – including the many one-liners that describe the process of getting sober.
For instance, AA recognizes that when you’re Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired (H.A.L.T.), you’re vulnerable to substance use. And so, in order to stay sober, someone in recovery can easily avoid certain triggers by tending to their physical and emotional well-being.
Develop Healthy Coping Strategies
It’s not always possible to avoid feelings of hunger, anger, loneliness, or fatigue. These are part of being human. Many treatment centers work hard to create an environment free from these stressors, which can help clients focus on working through the underlying causes of addiction and prevent relapse in the future. However, during treatment, clients will prepare for challenges they might face once they transition back into everyday life.
Some of the addiction treatment therapies and treatment modalities that can help you develop these coping strategies include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) – Changing the way you think can help you react to situations in healthier ways
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) – Mindfulness can help you adjust patterns of behavior
- Holistic therapy – Your spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional well-being are all crucial to long-term recovery
One other therapeutic approach that can help you be ready for life after treatment is life skills treatment.
What Is Life Skills Treatment?
During drug addiction treatment, therapy will help you understand how previous ways of thinking and patterns of behavior might have contributed to addiction issues. You might work on managing mental health issues that could cause you to relapse, might rebuild physical strength through yoga or exercise programs, and can develop a network of support with others in recovery.
However, addiction may have caused problems in a number of aspects of your life. It’s not unusual for those who struggle with addiction to face problems with their finances, maintaining employment, or taking care of day-to-day responsibilities. Life skills therapy is designed to help individuals in recovery develop the skills they need to thrive in their daily lives.
Some of the topics covered in life skills therapy might include:
- Relationship skills
- Mock interviews and job search assistance
- Budgeting skills
- Transportation system and bus routes
Relationships can suffer as a result of addiction. You might have hidden your behavior from loved ones, might have allowed drug or alcohol use to take priority over spending time with family members, or might have said things you now regret while under the influence. Family therapy can complement life skills treatment. During family therapy, you’ll learn how to communicate effectively with loved ones and how to rebuild trust.
Employment in Recovery
If you’ve lost your job while struggling with addiction, life skills therapy can give you the confidence and training you need to go on interviews and find employment. Your therapist or case manager can roleplay interviews and help you prepare for any questions that might come up. You can search for job openings together and find positions that might be the right fit.
When you’re in the depths of addiction, managing a budget can seem impossible. Whether you’ve lost your source of income, have used your savings to feed your habit, or have borrowed money from loved ones, you might need to rebuild your finances after treatment. In life skills treatment, you’ll work on creating a plan for how to save money and pay down debt once you transition back into everyday life.
Those who have received a DUI or who have lost their previous form of transportation due to financial issues can develop a plan for how to get to work and to outpatient treatment. Knowing how to navigate public transportation can help you avoid future stress when getting to work or attending outpatient treatment sessions.
No matter what you’re facing in your life after recovery, life skills therapy can help. At Westwind Recovery®, our goal is to set our clients up for lifelong success.
Adjust Your Habits
Creating your life so that you stay on a consistent and healthy meal schedule might be hard to do at first. However, you can ask others to help you. Family or friends can remind you that it’s time to eat. Or they might even cook for you on a regular basis. You might budget out a certain amount of money from your income for ordering out if you feel that cooking for yourself every day feels like a hassle. Use your resources of time, money, and loved ones in such a way so that you’re eating on a regular basis.
If you’re prone to anger, start expressing your feelings. Talk directly to the person who made you angry. You might need to take a couple of days to calm down first so that you don’t do or say anything you regret. In general, if you can learn to express your feelings in words versus behavior, you’re more likely to stay out of trouble. However, be sure to find a way to express your anger in a healthy way so that it doesn’t lead to drinking or drug use.
New Friendships and Better Sleep for Relapse Prevention
One of the great things about recovery from addiction is that you’re immediately in touch with a number of people who are in your same shoes. You can make friendships at AA meetings, at your sober living home, or at a community event supporting sobriety. You might also look for online chat rooms for sobriety or even a sober dating site. Sober and Single as well as Love in Recovery are two sites for those who are sober and looking for love. (It’s recommended to avoid dating if you’re early in your recovery.) Friendships are readily available and can help a person avoid feelings of loneliness.
Just like eating on a regular schedule, you might also find a routine that works for falling asleep and waking in the morning. If you’re used to sleeping at odd hours, this too might be hard to establish at first. However, if you stay consistent with the time that you go to bed, eventually, you’ll find that you’re waking at the same time each morning.
Life Skills Treatment in Los Angeles
At Westwind Recovery®, we offer life skills treatment and holistic therapies in California. If feeling Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired has been a trigger for relapse, discover how healthy coping strategies can help you maintain sobriety long-term. Reach out to our California counseling center for treatment programs that will help you rebuild your life. Contact us at 855.340.8832 or reach out online to learn more.