Top 7 Ways to Rock Rehab When You Get There
Congratulations! You’ve made the leap, taken control over your circumstances and you’re set to go to rehab. You have your appointment (and if you haven’t, why the heck not? Make one here.), you’re packing- you’re ready. You’ve told the people in your life who matter where you’re going, and that you are going to come back an entirely new person. You’re ready to change everything you hate about yourself-
But then the anxiety kicks in.
You’re starting to rethink your decision. You’re pacing. You’re sweating. “Can I cancel the shuttle at 3am?” Panicking. Reaching for the very thing that is taking control of your life.
Take a deep breath. Going to rehabilitation is the singular best thing you can do to ensure you can live the rest of your life exactly how you want to. Think of rehab as the math class you need to take for the degree- except everything you learn in rehab will apply to your life everyday.
Unlike the pythagorean theorem.
You’ve been poised to make this leap for months, years even- maybe decades. You haven’t made the wrong decision. Crafting a mental roadmap of how to approach rehab will empower you to take control of a situation you may feel powerless to influence. Rock rehab with these seven tips, and never doubt yourself again!
I know, I know- I sound like an afterschool pamphlet. But it’s true. Remaining hopeful and uplifted will help you absorb all the information you can during rehab. If you approach rehabilitation like something dreaded, you will face an acute disadvantage as compared to assuming a sunny disposition. When we’re happy, we are receptive, and ready to soak up information.
Anxiety breeds hostility and prompts us to cling to familiarity- which is the exact opposite thing we want to achieve in rehabilitation. Remaining positive and hopeful enlivens your spirit to stay focused on the task at hand.
If you’re struggling with staying positive about going to rehab, think about all the things you’ll be able to do once you resolve your substance use disorder. Going to rehabilitation assures you have a future. When was the last time you thought you were going to make something meaningful with yourself, and believed it? Rehab will help you discover the beauty secreted inside your spirit everyone else can see but you.
2. Keep an Open Mind
Try not to be resistant when you go to detox and rehab. The industry has become streamlined, and addiction professionals know what they’re doing. Yes, weaning is a good idea. No, you won’t like it during detox- but keep focusing on what you’re preparing for: the rest of your life.
Try new things. Go to every group session available. You may be surprised by the things you’ll learn about yourself. When you’ve spent so much time running away from your inner demons you’ll tend to forget what they look like- and they take precious pieces of you with them. Overcoming inner conflict is about facing your fears in spite of fear. It’s okay to be afraid, but don’t allow your fears and anxiety to dwarf your potential.
We all have a life purpose. Will you allow your substance use disorder to rob you of yours?
I didn’t think so.
In the spirit of hastening your recovery, be open to the suggestions of your counselors and therapists. If you’re prescribed an antidepressant or other substance espoused with a stigma, please feel free to grill your doctor as to why you need them- but do take them if they do not jeopardize your recovery.
Biology controls many substance use disorders. If there is a medical means of treating what you’ve been experiencing, allow yourself to rest and accept help from modern medicine. Just because you’ve been prescribed something now does not mean you are bound to any medications for a lifetime. With therapy and alternative means of healing the body, mind, and spirit, medications may be decreased in dosage- and completely eliminated in some cases.
But remember, you need to be stable enough to pursue those options. Take the medicine now, fight it tomorrow when you regain your strength. And NO that doesn’t mean “Don’t take your medicine.” That’s cheating. You have to do it the right way.
(And no, not literally “tomorrow.”)
3. Try Everything
It’s not enough to have an open mind if you don’t try things! Don’t expect everything in rehab to land in your lap. You have to be inquisitive, ask questions, invite yourself into situations and learn everything you can.
Is there a group you really want to go to, but doesn’t exist? Pitch it to the head officer of the facility- but go through your therapists (that may make it a tad easier). Taking an active role in creating the environment you need to recovery can only help you- and may be the missing link your peers are looking for.
Hate the gym? Try to go anyway. Don’t like meditation? Just give it a chance. You’re here to redefine the course of your life, and you can’t do that if you don’t give new things an honest chance. Try everything and regret nothing.
Especially yoga pants. Embrace the yoga pants.
With yourself. Rehabilitation is your attempt to reach your indwelling spirit, and quell your troubles. So listen. Interact with yourself and truly listen to the things you’ve buried for a lifetime. And then tell your therapists about it. It’s not enough to suffer with yourself– if you knew how to remedy and rectify these issues, you wouldn’t be reading this post.
Your therapists may not have all the answers, but they will point you in the right direction to guide you on your path to finding peace and harmony- freeing you to do the things you’ve always wanted.
The most crucial engagement you must force- if you have to- will be with yourself. Not tackling your recovery with your entire heart committed to the endeavor will land you in the exact position you are desperate to escape.
5. Redefine Yourself
While you’re doing all that talking and digging, make a point to discover what it is you want to do, and who you want to be. Rehabilitation is your chance to make radical change without anyone from your personal life nagging you or telling you no. This is your opportunity to shape your future into whichever direction you wish.
Abnegating this experience is a great disservice to yourself- but it will come naturally. But why wait when you can take charge initially? Setting goals is a wonderful way to track quantifiable progress in your transformation. Maybe you want to be an actress ultimately; make goals to reach your destination, like rehearsing for three hours everyday- or auditioning for three parts by the next six months.
Push your boundaries and your limits when committing to redefine yourself into the likeness of who you’ve always wanted to be. Within you there’s limitless potential. You simply must seize it.
6. Yes, You Are on Vacation
You’re not working, cleaning, or shifting laundry off of your bed with your feet. So yes, you are on vacation. Maybe you don’t have access to your electronics- but that ensures you’re able to spend some quality time with yourself! Make the most of your time, and think of rehabilitation as a workshop where you’ll get to uncover all of the negative energy in your life and pitch it away forever.
A spiritual retreat, even.
If you accept rehabilitation as an event to be celebrated, seeing each group and therapy session as something that will change your life for the better, forever- you’ll be more apt reap the rewards faster by assimilating them into your behavior more readily.
7. Make Friends
Yes! You’re allowed to befriend the locals. Some who meet in rehab remain friends for life. Don’t be afraid to form friendships with the people around you. While it’s true you may not live in the same area, building a network of people in recovery- who are committed to recovery- is helpful on days where your resolve to sobriety may stray. And beyond that, sometimes it’s just nice to have someone to talk to who understands everything you’ve been through because they have too.
Have more tips or questions? Comment below! I’d love to hear from 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.