Rehab isn’t easy, and despite any amenities and conveniences that the treatment center you choose may have, it’s designed to be challenging. Aside from healing, you’re there to work. With that said, there are a few general rules of thumb that are a good idea to keep in mind when entering treatment.
Don’t bring too many possessions: Your stay in treatment is limited by nature, so you really shouldn’t bring too much in the way of clothing and other personal items (please see previous blog on what to bring to detox). You’re probably going to be spending most of your time at the treatment center, especially in the early stages, so clothing can be kept to a minimum, and should mostly be casual. Dress for comfort, not to impress, with perhaps one set of nice clothing for outings such as meetings, dinners out, etc. Expensive jewelry, accessories and large amounts of cash are not needed in treatment, and you’d be wise to keep them at home.
Keep an open mind: Depending on the treatment center, there are likely to be some programs that may come as a surprise to you. Many higher-end rehabs offer excellent alternative, cutting edge curriculums such neurofeedback, equine therapy, surfing and art/music programs, as well as others which can enhance your recovery. Take some chances; your counselor or program director will suggest these as they are appropriate to your treatment.
Don’t make friends with everyone: Camaraderie is great in treatment, but at the same time, it isn’t essential that you fall in love with everyone, nor they with you. Chances are, your new friendships will be temporary, no matter how strong they seem at the time. Also on this subject, try to stay away from the gossip mill. It’s a common mistake in treatment, and all it really accomplishes is diverting and distracting one away from their treatment.
Cleanliness: Many of us had a tendency to overlook hygiene and cleanliness while we were in our disease. As much as it may seem laborious at the beginning, keeping yourself and your possessions clean will make you feel better and aid in your recovery. This also goes for the state of your room or quarters; remember that order or lack thereof is a reflection of your spirit and mind.
Beating Yourself Up: Many of us spend an inordinate amount of time and energy doing this to ourselves, especially in the later stages of addiction. Once you enter treatment, this is your ticket to stop the self-loathing. Try to be good to yourself, and congratulate yourself for all of your accomplishments, no matter how small they seem. Entering treatment is an optimum place to start…
Develop Patience: Instant gratification is what addiction is all about, and so many of us allow this to infiltrate all areas of our lives. All addicts in recovery, no matter how seasoned or old they are, are in process of developing patience. The sooner you realize this, the more you will have opportunity to grow in all other areas.
Exercise and Nourishment: Like cleanliness, many addicts put proper nourishment way down the list of priorities when we are active in our disease. All treatment centers feed the clientele three meals and more a day; take the opportunity to eat properly and healthfully. This and exercise will enhance your recovery in immeasurable ways.
Isolation: One of the biggest symptoms of the addictive spirit, and the staff at the facility will be watching to make sure that you don’t isolate, and help you to become a part of the community. On the other hand though, you do need time to yourself, and counselors will make sure you have this as well, and in the proper measure.
Helping Others: Another huge part of the recovery picture, and as you progress in your program, you will have ample opportunity to be of service to both other clients as well as the facility itself.