How I Went to Rehab in 4 Easy Steps
If you have been milling over the idea of going to rehab but haven’t quite made it there yet, it probably means one of two things: 1) you need to go to rehab or 2) you don’t think you’re ready for rehab, or you don’t “really” need rehab, but you need rehab.
If you are unable to control your actions revolving how much alcohol you drink, or how wantonly you suc
cumb to drug use, rehabilitation will help you understand why you- singularly- are unable to control your behavior, despite the ill consequences stemming from your use.
It’s okay to be addicted. Being addicted does not make you unworthy of love, respect, admiration, or acceptance. Addiction is a disease that is treatable! So take advantage of it. Fighting an uphill battle against a disease which is typically genetically introduced is an unnecessary waste of your energy.
Take it from me: I refused to see a professional for an unending bout of chronic depression from my teenage years until young adulthood. I raged against going to get help because I insisted I didn’t need it. I didn’t want to be one of those people. It turns out I have Borderline Personality Disorder. 80% of people with BPD struggle with suicidal ideation, and a small percentage actually go through with self-slaughter.
Unfortunately, suicide is intimately known by my family.
Okay, I didn’t go to rehab in a “traditional” sense, but I am in the process of rehabilitating my mental health with professional help.
And guess what? After I recovered from the initial shock of the diagnosis, I finally got the help I needed– I hear I’m a lot easier to be around now! When we neglect our own health, we strain our loved ones with the burden of having to endure what are ultimately treatable conditions which bury our “true” natures with the turmoil existing is mental health disorders. We act in ways we wouldn’t have typically- and while it’s not our “fault” (it is a function of biology), we are utterly responsible for rectifying what we can with psychological or medical care.
It took me years to learn this, and it has resulted in a long list of regrets. But going forward I will continue to learn all I can about BPD to understand the condition and develop strategies for coping with my emotions that don’t drive me or my loved ones absolutely insane.
If I can do it, so can you.
In giving you a glimpse into my private life I would most assuredly prefer stay that way, I hope you can glean hope and inspiration to figure out your own circumstances. Do keep in mind, many psychological conditions aggravate and even foment (or cause) substance use disorders.
Leaving your mental health unchecked will undoubtedly work against your recovery, should there exist an undiagnosed psychological disorder.
In refusing to remedy every aspect of our mental health, we dwarf our ability to address the causes of addiction.
Addiction isn’t the problem- addiction is a result of the problem. So, fix the problem and addiction becomes manageable.
Now go to rehab. and take a glimpse into my thought process, in four easy steps: (Away with you!)
Step 1 Acceptance
It’s okay to need help- and it is greatly encouraged you get help. Ask yourself if you’re okay with feeling the way you do right now for the rest of your life. Can you live with the unending guilt, depression, and rage? I couldn’t. You don’t have to either.
Acceptance is truly the first step. Once you stop devoting all of your energy to containing the problem, and poorly self medicating it with drugs, alcohol, overeating, or self harm, you can finally focus on actually fixing the problem.
Step 2 Just Do It
You just need to go. In my case, my mom took the reigns, and I let her. Having a support system that can guide you through this process is absolutely invaluable. If they want to help, let them. And by the way they can’t help if they don’t know!
My mother always said she would know if something was wrong, and I took extra measures to hide everything from her- and it worked. Remember your loved ones are human, and they’re not mind readers. If you haven’t done so, let them know exactly how you’re feeling and what you’re struggling with. I promise they won’t break.
For me, I couldn’t bring myself to talk about it, so I sent an email. A long, long email I almost deleted. To this day I’m glad I didn’t.
When she made the appointment with the specialist, I just went. So you just go too. Make the appointment, have the appointment made- take a tour of a rehab facility, whatever you have to do to get your foot in the door.
Step 3 Breathe Through the Shock
When you’re finally there- or on the way there, you may have a bit of a panic attack. (Just ask everyone driving behind me on the way to the doctor’s office.) Remember to breathe! Traversing into the unknown is supposed to be unsettling, so you’re having the right reaction. Just remember going to rehab, a therapist, or psychiatrist is essential to help you get to where you want to be in life. You’ve already decided you don’t want to continue living the way you are- and these are the means of getting there.
Step 4 Enjoy Yourself Again
Remedying your mental health and promoting an enjoyable quality of life will be a lifelong endeavor- but after finally getting help, you’ll learn how to love again, how to be happy in your own skin, and enjoy the wonders you were blinded from.
Do it for your future. Do it for them. Do it for you.
About the Author
Alexandrea Holder is a South Florida native working toward double Master’s degrees in Psychology and English. She finds the psychological aspects of addiction and mental illness fascinating, as both are prevalent in her family’s history. When not researching and spreading addiction awareness, Alexandrea enjoys sparring, artistic pursuits, and admiring puppies online.