When in Recovery

Sober man - Narconon
Photo by Dean Drobot/Shutterstock.com

When a person decides to go to rehab, first I would like to congratulate this person and tell him that he is doing a great job, he is on the right track, this is the best decision he ever made and he will not regret it.

Rehab will not cure the person in need, but it will put him on the right track to live a clean and sober life and this usually takes time and lots of work. Rehab will teach the person different methods to use that will help in recovery, Rehab is not instant and it takes different lengths of time for different people to reach a level of sobriety and live a life without being questioned about their sobriety.

This takes a lot of work for the recovering addict. It’s the hardest thing that a person will do in his life. Many, many people end up dead or in prison because of addiction, so if you beat addiction you have something special.

Normally, when a person leaves a rehab program, he is very eager to fix whatever mistakes he made during his addiction. This can be relationships with family or friends or work associates, trying to get their trust back, or trying to fix a relationship with their partner that was destroyed by so many mistakes such as cheating, stealing, etc.

Understand that all of this takes time and being consistent with doing the right thing all the time is the best way to get that trust back and fix these damaged relationships. There will be times when sobriety will be questioned and maybe the family or friends will ask if the person in recovery is ready for the world and can control not using, and that’s okay. The recovering addict should take responsibility for his past actions and understand that it takes time to arrive back to a normal condition with the people around him and in life itself. He should make sure to be surrounded by people who support him and his mission of sobriety.

Early in recovery, there are a lot of things that need to be confronted about life and past experiences, about old trauma, about bad decisions made, and usually, these mistakes follow you everywhere you go. Those in recovery tend to wake up with these memories, sleep with these memories, and basically live every second of their lives with these memories. It’s easy for me to say that you need to let go of the past and always be in the present, but the best thing to do is to face the past and accept it, as only then we can move on.

Before going to rehab, many addicts have had fights with their families, and I’m sure those last days before rehab were bad. When the person comes back from rehab, he is not that same person, but is the better version of himself and he should be given a chance to prove himself.

For the families, I know you have doubts and you don’t know if you can trust the person or not and that’s okay. Give your loved one a chance and not jump to conclusions. Ask questions but be respectful, be positive all the time and show your support to help him in his journey to a better life.

If you are in recovery, sit, relax and take a deep breath, because you are doing the right thing. I understand that you made some mistakes, but you are fixing them now. Just by being sober, you are fixing what you did before. When questioned or asked about your ability to stay clean, take a deep breath and answer any questions your family members or friends have and understand that they may doubt you now, but it takes time to fix what was broken from before.

Understand that what you are doing by getting clean is one of the hardest things a person can ever do and that it’s time to work on yourself before anyone else. Take a walk by yourself, take yourself out to eat, buy something new for yourself, treat yourself to your favorite dessert and your favorite meal, order something from Amazon and ask them to send it in a gift box, buy yourself a gift and act surprised when you get it.

Write down your accomplishments and your goals, and write down your plans for the next day and the next week. You have to push yourself because nobody is going to do the work for you but you. Apply for that job even if you think you will not get it, write your blog and publish it even though you might think no one will read it, send that important email even though you might think it will not make a difference.

Take chances and be yourself, because no one but you can be you. You are unique and special. Make the change and be an inspiration to others. If you are a recovering addict, try to make a difference and help someone else who is struggling because you have a life experience that no job can ever give you and no school can ever teach you—and that’s the good that came from your experience.




Heni earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Video Production from the Art Institute of Houston and went on to work in the media for 16 years, eventually becoming an Operations Manager for a television station. Having witnessed the harm that drugs and alcohol wreak on people’s lives, he is now utilizing his skills to spread awareness about drug and alcohol addiction and to bring hope to families and individuals who are battling addiction.