While the idea of living in your hometown might sound comforting, the reality may be that your hometown is what led you to develop your addiction. Or perhaps the idea of moving back after treatment triggers anxiety and doubt. The truth is transitioning back into life after treatment will have its challenges.
Alternatively, it can be just as intimidating thinking about moving to an unfamiliar place where you might not have your family and friends nearby for support. While it can be difficult, ultimately, the right choice is whichever best promotes your recovery and sobriety. Let’s look at how to determine if moving back home is right for you.
Set Clear Expectations with Friends and Family
Recovery helps nurture relationships built on trust and support, as well as within. In some circumstances, you may be entering back into your hometown setting, where you have friends and family to call upon in times of challenge. Or perhaps you’re moving back into a situation where most of your friends and family are detrimental to your health and wellbeing. After years of addiction, identifying who has your best interest at heart can feel overwhelming. Setting clear expectations and boundaries is a critical step in deciding if moving back to your hometown is right for your recovery.
Laying ground rules establishes who you are, what you’re about, and what you will and will not accept. Such ground rules include which friends and family members you will are cutting ties with. Or perhaps certain nights or days of the week where you may or may not frequent a social area. For example, suppose you know that your friends hang out at a local coffee shop every Tuesday. A wise ground rule would be to stay away from the shop on Tuesday until you build up enough resilience to handle certain pressuring social situations. Boundaries ultimately draw from your ability to sense your own triggers and therefore help protect you from succumbing to them. When you lay out your boundaries and expectations, you take control of your sobriety.
Make Moving a Priority
Willpower can only acheive so much; if you are constantly passing places or people that trigger you to want to drink, then make moving a priority. Your hometown is just a place or a period in your life that doesn’t last forever. Removing yourself from a place with the potential to reverse all of your progress is an imperative stepping stone in the next chapter of recovery. Evaluate your options and write down your goals, ambitions, and ways you can thrive both personally and professionally.
You don’t necessarily have to move out of state. You could flourish just by moving 45 minutes to an hour away from your hometown. Having your own space away, or private bubble, provides a sense of independence and newness where the past is unlikely to collide.
Incorporate Your Mental Health Needs
Having a strong mind-body connection is essential to lasting recovery. Therefore, it is just as important to place your mental health needs in the forefront during challenging times. If you live with a relative, you may begin to feel that you owe them something, causing people-pleasing behavior. This kind of internal conflict often leads to undue stress and, eventually, relapse.
Instead of trying to please everyone or make up for past discretion, focus on yourself and your healing. Taking a moment to practice mindfulness is a great way to build your mental health regardless of your environment. However, in early recovery, if you learn that drugs and substances are kept in the household and doubt your ability to avoid these distractions, consider seeking another living arrangement.
Participate In Community Building Activities
One of the ways you can prosper in your hometown is by getting involved in the community. Activities like volunteer work, attending addiction meetings, or participating in outdoor hikes are great ways to strengthen bonds with people who lead sober lifestyles. It also introduces and builds a support network in your town to help keep you accountable in times of need. Finding various activities that fit your interests, such as caring for animals, can also provide career opportunities and new hobbies.
Seek Professional Care
Making time to regularly meet with a therapist or counselor affords you the opportunity to express yourself and learn to cope with new challenges. You could even involve your family in these sessions so they can learn more about your addiction while expressing their feelings as well. If you find that you’re missing these appointments on a regular basis, it may signify that you’re compromising your recovery or not putting it first.
Reentering the world after treatment can be a challenging and intimidating process that can lead you to think moving back to your hometown is your only option. At Choice House, we prepare men for the transition from treatment into everyday life. Our models of therapy and treatment equip men with the foundational elements needed to build healthy sobriety. We will also help you see that options are available and identify them. Choice House works closely with the top transitional sober houses in the Boulder area. Therefore, if you fear going back to your environment following treatment, you can choose to further develop skills in transitional living houses. Of course, we remain a pillar of support and contact for you at any point throughout your recovery journey. With 24/7 admissions, there is never an inopportune time to reach out. For more information, call Choice House at (720) 577-4422.