Going into inpatient treatment can be a scary time. For most addicts, although the necessity of rehab may not be a surprise, tearing themselves away from the world of drugs and alcohol is shocking and uncomfortable. Not only do you have to get through everyday while maintaining sobriety, but most treatment centers use this time to encourage emotional growth and psychological healing. Facing the demons of your past head on isn’t something anyone wants to deal with, at least not at first.
The good news is that thousands of people every year find a renewed passion for life and sobriety thanks to the support and guidance of inpatient care. And from those thousands who have been exactly where you are, we’ve collected a short list of helpful hints to get you through the early days of rehab.
The best way to ensure that you fail at sobriety is to not even try. Most addicts are skilled at deception and we usually find a way to get out of something we don’t want to do. But trust us, smoking cigarettes underneath a stairwell isn’t going to help you nearly as much as getting out of bed on time and getting to every group therapy.
- Find a hobby
For most of us, drugs were our main source of entertainment, socialization, and relaxation. Well in rehab that’s not a possibility. So try something new. Read more books, learn to play chess, draw, shoot hoops…it literally doesn’t matter. It’s time to discover the interesting person you could have become if you hadn’t used drugs.
- Make small goals
We get it, dedicating yourself to staying in rehab for several months all while tackling the anxiety of early sobriety can be a lot. 12-step programs have a saying—“one day at a time.” So instead of thinking about the big picture, try and give yourself weekly or daily goals to complete. It can be as simple as telling yourself that you just won’t leave treatment this week or it can be more complicated. Like quitting smoking.
- Eat right
There’s an intersting phenomena that takes place in nearly every treatment center. People go in emaciated from years of drug abuse and they usually come out with a lot more meat on their bones. Many of us haven’t had a proper diet in years so rehab is a great time to learn about healthy nutrition and the simple joys of eating well.
- Make a personal connection
Trust the people who have been in your shoes, hiding away from the world is not going to make your time in treatment any more enjoyable and will most likely hurt your recovery. Everyone else in rehab is feeling the same as you so go out and make a connection. Sometimes the most important thing in recovery is having a caring support network that is there to help you when you need it.