For some, going to rehab is a waste of time (and money), a dreadful experience that doesn’t affect their recovery in any way. For others, the right rehab treatment will save their life.
Choose you addiction treatment center carefully. Here are some things to consider.
Going to rehab is nothing like going on a vacation on a sandy beach. Not even close. Well, except if you’re attending a luxury treatment center with upscale amenities like organic meals, pools, sauna, and what not. Which would be awesome, if detox wasn’t so painful, right? The main point is, whichever treatment center you choose, it can change your life. And you are definitely worth the try.
So, if you’ve decided to seek help and go to rehab, congratulations. It’s a step further from who you’ve been so far and it’s a sign you’ve already started working on yourself. Rehab treatment requires a lot of work, but if you’re determined, you’ll succeed to reach your goals and enjoy an addiction-free life. There are many types of rehab, including inpatient (which is the hardest but with the highest success rates), outpatient, and you are free to choose from approaches such as holistic, traditional and others. Find what suits you best – with a help of an addiction counselor – and prepare to get better. This post is for inpatient rehab, where you’ll be practically living in the facility during the period of recovery and be far from home.
Always remember that change starts from the inside:
“As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world… as in being able to remake ourselves.” – Mahatma Gandhi
1. Change Your Perspective
- Get angry and defensive before and after you enter rehab treatment. Enter rehab and increase the chances of failing even before starting treatment. Usually, leave treatment early (don’t leave early!).
- Get angry, but accept it as a necessity to get better.
- Stop being angry and start thinking of rehab as a life opportunity. Start thinking as an investment. As your safe place. A place where you will get better. Your fresh start.
From all of the above, what is the right thing to do?
Accepting rehab as a new opportunity, a place that will help you start your recovery process, opens a new window of possibilities for you. It gives you hope. It motivates you to resist the cravings, the urge of getting high or drink a glass of alcohol. This is the foundation. If you manage to change the way you view rehab – even as a nasty but necessary process – you’ll actually enjoy your stay at a facility. At the beginning, it will be hard. But after a while, you’ll see an improvement in yourself.
Related: 10 Signs you Need Drug Rehab
But before you enter rehab, change the way you view yourself. Give yourself worth. After accepting you need help, you need to change the way you look at yourself, your look at things in life, and especially your look at rehab. Keep an optimistic view. Prepare for the biggest change in your life. Nobody died from spending a few months in rehab. Every day, hundreds die from an overdose. It’s a mistake that will cost you your life.
Also, every day, imagine yourself spending time in rehab. Create a positive image of you being in an inpatient rehab treatment, surrounded by supportive, encouraging people that are willing to help you. Be willing to help yourself too. Forget everything you know and everything you’ve heard about rehab treatment. Go with a different mindset. Just keep an open mind to whatever happens during your stay. And stop worrying about the things you’re leaving behind. Because the only thing you leave behind is your addicted behavior. After rehab, you are a normal, fresh, optimistic person that has a lot to offer, both to your family and the world.
“Determine that the thing can and shall be done, and then we shall find the way” – President Abraham Lincoln
2. Participate in Various Activities – Especially Outdoor Ones
It’s not only being in rehab. It’s about making the most out of the experience. You need to get serious about getting better. So, you need to participate in all of the activities that are on your schedule. To make things more interesting, set challenges and try to complete them. Participate in as many activities as you can. And be present. Listen, observe, and learn. It’s important to keep an open mind. Because there will be bad days and good days. But, no matter what you do, don’t be afraid of failure. Rehab activities – aside from treatment sessions – will help you clear your mind, and serve as a distraction.
Related: 12 Step Program: History and Process
3. Interact with the Facility’s Staff and People in Rehab Treatment
It’s also important not to isolate yourself while you’re in treatment. Communicate with the staff members and your roommates. Ask questions, tell your story – at least as much of it as you feel comfortable – and live in the moment. It true that you’ll continue your life after rehab treatment and you probably will have a lot to deal with, but first, focus on recovery. Without it, you’ll never lead the life you deserve. Make recovery your top priority.
Commit to the program and follow the addiction counselor’s advice and be friendly with the staff and your roommates. You also need to open up. While you’re in counseling, it will be a little bit uncomfortable to talk about your life and the things you’ve done, but it’s all for your good.
To be worry free, before you enter rehab treatment, pack the most valuable things – comfortable clothes and other meaningful things, but leave expensive things behind.
A tip: Prepare yourself before going to counseling or a meeting. Try to discover the reasons that lead to the addictive behavior. Answer the why, when, where, how, and what lead to you abusing drugs or alcohol, and the best possible way to get out of that situation.
4. Take Things Step by Step
It’s okay to have a mission, and a goal, and a clear vision of where you see yourself in five years. But it’s important to take things slowly. No matter what you do, you’ll always have the drug or alcohol problem you’ve faced. So, make it a valuable lesson. You have experienced something not many people have. You’ve been through a lot. And you’ve survived. And you’ll also survive rehab. As hard as it is. Only if you don’t set the bar too high because the fall will be more painful. Instead, try to work on your improvement day by day. Without high expectations or disappointments. Just accept that it’s natural to go through the ups and downs. It will make you stronger, wiser, and satisfied with your progress. As slow as it is. It’s still progress.
“Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it.” – Bill Cosby
5. Re-Establish Family Connections
There is nothing like family support to help you get through rehab treatment. They will always love and support you unconditionally. Make the most of your family counseling family visits, and if they’re not allowed, from your phone calls or letters. If you don’t have a family you can trust, visit support groups before entering rehab. Or create your support group while you’re in treatment.
6. Write it Down
Whatever bothers you, write it down. Make writing you feelings and thoughts a practice. Writing gives you a chance to clear your mind from all those thoughts that have been bothering you and you’ll also spend time by yourself. Always take a five-minute break when you feel like you can’t handle a situation. But don’t escape. Return. And write about how you felt, and what made you feel that way. Also, talk about it with your addiction counselor.
“If you are aware of your weaknesses and are constantly learning, your potential is virtually limitless.” – Jay Sidhu
7. Uncover Suppressed Emotions
Emotional suppression leads to other problems. And it doesn’t let you move forward with your life. Trust the process of getting better. It’s okay to be scared. It’s okay to be lost. But it’s not okay to stay that way. You need progress. As hard as it is – it’s hard, but you need to live the life you deserve – you need to be an open book.
Discuss with your family members and friends about things that have been bothering you and how you felt about hurting them or they hurting you. Being in rehab treatment gives you a chance to start over. To start clean. Dealing with emotions doesn’t have to be a lonely process. So, talk, and talk and never stop talking. It’s natural, it’s healthy and it will get you better. This is your chance for improvement. Don’t let it slip away.
8. While You’re There:
- Write down the quotes from this article and hung them on the wall above your bed, or some place where you can see them before you go to bed, and after you wake up in the morning. It doesn’t have to be the exact same quotes, but bring along something that motivates you. A picture of you loved ones, or even better, advice from your loved ones. Maybe you can ask them to write something down for you that will help you get through difficult times and will keep you going.
- Stay focused on what you want to achieve in rehab treatment, and always remember the reasons you entered.
- Keeping an open mind will prepare you for whatever might disappoint you in rehab. No place is perfect. So, lower or set no expectations because you don’t want to get disappointed if something didn’t go quite as you expected.
- Expect to have bad days and good days.
- Withdrawal and detox are scary and painful, but you’ll get medical help and recovery staff will keep you safe.
- Cry, laugh, get angry, but don’t deny you have a problem. Face your struggles.
- Prepare for life after rehab. With the support of your family members and friends, you’ll find the strength to continue your fight against cravings and stay sober. Inform yourself and your family about your addiction. Relapse prevention is a must.
“No man or woman is uniformly successful… we must all expect a rather high percentage of failure in the things we attempt.” – Barnaby Keeney, Brown University President
For more information please call our Addiction Treatment Helpline at (844) 439-4765. This is a Free and completely confidential call. We are available 24/7. In many cases, your health insurance company will cover 100% of the treatment cost. So please call now.