This article is intended to be used by the general public for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as a reference for educational research papers, nor is it a reflection of the services available through our Rehab Program in Thailand.
This is the penultimate article in the 4-part series of maintaining sobriety. Below we will touch on things that will help you to re-integrate with society and lead a life that can be extremely rewarding.
Re-establishing family contact:
It should not surprise or disappoint you if some family members do not welcome you back with open arms. You must remember that your actions while addicted will have affected them in a variety of ways and none of these will have been positive.
It is very likely that you will need to take things slowly, have patience and stay determined. Family members need to understand that you had an illness, that you are still, and will remain in recovery, but that you are making best efforts to continue your progression.
Make contact when the time is right and try to impress on them the steps you are taking to improve life. It may well mean that you also need to make amends. If this is the case then think carefully how this can be achieved. A simple “I am sorry” is not sufficient.
Explain that you understand the hurt and worry caused and that you are eager to make up for the past, but also make it clear that you do not intend to dwell on your past.
By taking this approach, you will gradually re-build their trust and in many cases become an integral part of the family unit.
The majority of family members should be forgiving, they should understand and they should help you in your efforts to remain sober.
Attending social events:
This can be a tricky one. At some stage you will, and should, start to socialise again. Once again it is necessary to take things steady. It is important to avoid socialising with old drug using friends, or to attend events you know will be booze or drug-fuelled.
It will certainly help if you take a non-drinking family member or friend with you on initial outings. They will be able to keep an eye on you and encourage you to enjoy yourself without partaking in any substance use.
Give something back:
Consider offering your services to a local charity. These organisations do sterling work and are always in need of another pair of hands.
This type of activity will give you a two-fold benefit. You will be doing something for those less fortunate than yourself and this will make you feel far better within yourself. It is something you should rightly feel proud of.
The other advantage is that you will open the door to a new set of friends who know nothing about your past problems. They will take you for what you are. A decent person at heart.
There will be days that are a struggle:
It is a foregone conclusion that remaining sober will be no walk in the park. Hopefully the time spent as an inpatient will have given you advice and tips on how to cope with these situations. In the final part of this 4-part series we will major on what actions should be taken when things get you down.