Returning to Your Normal Life

Choice House offers an extensive 90 day in-house treatment program to provide recovery patients with a solid foundation and the tools necessary to re-enter the world. These tools provide a solid footing to jump-start your new sober life, but arguably no amount of preparation could accurately depict the experience of re-entering your “normal” life while in recovery.

Everything in your life will be the same as you left it while, at the same time, being completely different. We know it seems like a cop-out to use these double meaning recovery statements, but trust us when we tell you that “the same but different” does accurately reflect the situation. And although nothing can truly prepare you for the unknown aspects of returning to your life sober, we can provide some helpful pointers on what to avoid and how to act when the unexpected arises. 

Below are some of the aspects of what you can come to expect after re-entering your normal life, as well as some helpful actions you can take to maintain your recovery. 

What to Expect 

As far as “normal” means returning to a more independent lifestyle, recovering addicts leaving rehab can expect that life has continued moving on without them. The positive aspect of this reality is that it helps to remove some of the self-centered mentality that many addicts are inclined to favor in daily life. It helps to provide some necessary humility by showing that you are not the center of the world and pushing for a more empathetic and gratitude-based approach to living sober. 

There are some potential negative aspects or consequences of dealing with life having moved on without you as well. Recovering addicts should be weary of feelings of being left behind or “fear of missing out” (FOMO), which can be very real and not just some outdated online tag word. They ultimately can lead to feelings of inadequacy that can increase chances for depression and anxiety and can have the potential to trigger a relapse. 

When returning to your independent life as a sober person, what exactly will be different varies from person to person, but the most obvious will be the changes you personally make in your daily routine to maintain your sobriety. This could involve a more structured day that involves adding recovery meetings to your schedule, as well as time for self-care, i.e. meditation, exercise, hobbies, etc. Choice House will give you the foundation and the necessary tools to promote a sober lifestyle, but once you leave, it is really up to you to put them to good use.

The second major change is how people will approach you, especially with the knowledge that you are a recovering addict. Some will try to handle you with kid gloves while others may be more blunt. This is another scenario that varies depending on the people you surround yourself with and their level of exposure to addiction and the recovery process. 

Of course, there is no way for you to alter how others approach you after rehab, but you can take control of how you react, as well as who you surround yourself with as a support network. This is definitely where a strong support network becomes vital to your recovery effort. Remember that it’s important to keep an open mind when dealing with society’s reaction to your recovery efforts and that the majority of people, in spite of their actions or words, are eager to help.

A third noticeable change that you can expect is the amount of free time and energy you have. This has many positive aspects and a few potential negative ones. The positives, aside from feeling physically better, include the ability to accomplish tasks you may not have had the energy or time to complete while using. This sense of accomplishment and achieving goals can do wonders for maintaining your sobriety. 

However, you should also be weary of not filling up all that free time with activities. Excessive amounts of free time can lead to boredom, which can spiral into depression, anxiety, and a variety of co-occurring mental health issues that could result in a potential relapse. 

Adapting to the New Normal

As you adjust to your new sober living, things will gradually begin to feel more “normal,” but even this new normal will never be the life that you once had. This too, is normal and completely ok. Change is scary and you may find that everything is new to you after leaving rehab. You may have to re-learn skills that you thought you had a handle on, like learning how to socialize, work, or even love as a sober person.

Eventually, after a series of lessons and failures, you won’t even recognize what you once considered your “normal” life. Routine will turn to habit and habit will become a healthy lifestyle of sober living. The most encouraging aspect of all this change is that you will find a world of people just like you who are willing to lend a hand in your recovery efforts. At Choice House, you will find that you are never alone. 

How Choice House Prepares You

Choice House sets recovery patients up with a 90 day solid foundation of sober living treatment to prepare for the challenges of living sober in the real world. That is three months of developing better habits and routines–not to mention three months of sober living. For many, this will be the longest period of sobriety they have experienced in their adult lives and a welcome bit of clarity.

In addition to a 90 day in-house treatment program, Choice House also operates a sober living campus where recovery patients can safely ease themselves back into society as sober individuals. The sober living campus offers recovering addicts a safe space to continue their recovery after 90 day in-patient rehab. The campus not only provides continued therapy within an active sober living community but its close proximity to the city allows residents to create new daily routines, work, and socialize as newly sober members of society under the guidance of Choice House. 

While either in the 90 day inpatient facility or staying at the sober living campus, recovering addicts will be exposed to nature and the great outdoors as well. The focus on outdoor activities not only helps reconnect recovering addicts with the outside world, but it also helps those in recovery to develop new hobbies and interests, like  biking, hiking, kayaking, and more. Outdoor activities are a great way to get exercise, which can decrease depression, while also being an enjoyable activity that can make up part of your day.


If you or someone you love is interested in using a recovery treatment program to learn how to return to your life as a sober individual, Choice House is more than willing to help guide you through your addiction recovery. Located in Boulder County, Colorado, we have the staff and experience to help you develop the tools necessary to create a “new normal” as a sober individual. Choice House offers treatment for addiction recovery as well a variety of therapeutic modalities to help treat co-occurring mental health issues if needed. Both the 90 day inpatient facility and the sober living complex are a mere 15 minutes from either the busy downtown city life of Boulder or the outdoor adventure of the Rocky Mountains. The ideal setting of having the great Rocky Mountains right in Choice House’s backyard is taken full advantage of with outdoor therapy being a large component of the recovery experience at Choice House. For more information on treatment programs, give us a call at (720) 577-4422.

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