Staying sober in rehab vs. in recovery presents different challenges. For me, it’s relatively straightforward to remain sober in rehab because there’s a safety net and daily reminders. The difficult part is keeping sober in recovery. Applying the toolkit provided in rehab isn’t so simple without the constant reminders of your disease. Talking about 12-step work is one thing, using it when no one else is looking is another. The outside world can be as wild as an acre full of snakes.
The phrase ‘pink cloud’ is thrown around in rehab, and it means you feel good without substances in your system. Your mind feels clearer, and your peers are just a stone’s throw away. Anytime you are struggling it’s easy to knock on your neighbor’s door and talk it out. But beware of falsely inflated confidence, because out there in the default world your peers are a phone call away and sometimes that phone can feel as heavy as an anvil.
Forging healthy coping skills is essential for success in sobriety. Learning how to integrate work and social life while keeping sobriety as priority number one must be achieved. At Riverbank, it’s inspiring to have the opportunity to set the foundation for the default world in a safe environment because it instills confidence and encourages practice. I witness my peers building this gateway to that they don’t have to leave the pink cloud behind. Instead they keep with them a pink bubble that shines like a beacon onto other folks in sobriety. That’s how this brick-layer sees it, anyway.