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Life may look quite different now that you have finished treatment and are returning to society in recovery. You may change some activities and refrain from others. As you continue on your recovery journey, you will learn to set yourself up for success and still participate in the activities that you enjoy.

Learning to live life in recovery takes time. Life may feel different or even foreign. Often early recovery can be a frightening time because you so desperately want to make the right choices. You may even feel like you can’t participate in activities you used to enjoy.

This can cause isolation to set in. Isolation can have a severe impact on your mental health and be dangerous for your recovery. Work through your struggles with a mental health professional. You are fully capable of enjoying every activity, even going to parties. If you find that you want to go to a party, here are a few suggestions to keep in mind.

Know Your Triggers

Knowing your triggers is a significant part of recovery. You have to know what will cause negative thinking or a desire to enter a situation that could be dangerous to your recovery. Triggers are a part of life. Everyone is triggered by something. There is no shame in acknowledging your triggers. Learn what they are, when they happen, and how to work through them.

If you want to go to a social gathering, know the situation and setting ahead of time. Who will be there? What will everyone be doing? Will any substances be present? When you know your triggers, you can plan ahead and not let situations or events cause you to use your substance of choice again.

Accept Your Boundaries 

Know your limits. Know when you need to leave a given situation. You have preset boundaries in place for a reason.

While in treatment, you worked hard to understand your mental health issues better. You set boundaries, learned skills, and determined which tools were best suited for your recovery and life. As you reenter society, remember all of the hard work you have done. Use the skills and tools you took the time to learn.

If activity at a party starts to get near your boundaries, then accept it. Accept that you may need to leave the party for your mental health and sobriety. That is okay. As you journey through recovery, your boundaries and comfort will change and shift. What you cannot handle early in recovery, you may be able to handle later on.

Keep Support Close

If you choose a new activity, like a party, that may include triggers, consider keeping your support close at hand. If you are unsure what the setting will be like, go with a friend you trust and who knows about your recovery. You will not always know how a situation will feel or look until you are there. Have your support available in case you need them.

You created a support system because having support is an integral part of recovery. As you journey through recovery, you will be trying new activities and simply living your life. You will need support as you grow and change.

Have an Exit Plan

If you attend a party and realize it is not safe for your recovery, that is okay. Have an exit plan in place. How will you get out of that setting if situations or events begin to trigger you? What skills will you use to make healthy decisions?

Having an exit plan in place will help you feel comfortable exploring activities and continuing to grow. Feel confident in your choices and the plans you have in place. Work with a mental health professional to help develop exit plans and procedures that are right for your recovery and well-being.

Have Fun Without Drugs or Alcohol

Learning to have fun without your substance of choice is a process. When you have spent many years associating certain substances with pleasure, it can be challenging to change your thinking. Changing any thought process is a challenge, and even more when it includes an addiction.

You can retrain your brain to process fun differently. Working with a mental health professional will help you to better train your brain to associate new and healthy activities with thoughts of fun and excitement.

Go to new places, try new activities, and meet new friends. You may be surprised what sort of activities spark your interest now. Recovery is a time of growth and exploration. At times growth can feel uncomfortable. Learning new skills and activities can be scary. Relax and have fun. You have put tremendous effort into your recovery; now, you get to enjoy the rewards of that hard work.

Recovery can be a fantastic time, filled with learning and growth. However, it is a time that can also be nerve-racking as you try to maintain your sobriety and mental health. You may find yourself wanting to participate in activities that you used to enjoy, such as going to parties. If you find yourself wanting to go to parties, that is perfectly okay. Set yourself up for success and enjoy your time. You may want to know your boundaries and triggers before attending a party. Know what setting or activities will stress your sobriety. Others may find that having an exit strategy is helpful. Here at The Guest House, we know that recovery is an amazing time filled with learning. We are here to support you along the way and help you to maintain your sobriety. Call us today to learn more about the support we offer at (855) 483-7800.