- Will a job save me from my addiction?
- Will this relationship save me from my demons of chemical dependency?
- Will these new possessions save me from using today?
- What if I lose my job going to treatment?
- What if I fail?
- I’m terrified of the detox.
These are a few common objections I hear daily when talking with people struggling with addiction and/or family members with addicted members.
Treatment can be terrifying, it is fear of the unknown. Rehabilitation is not about getting off drugs, it is about getting a new outlook on life. When I went in, I was thinking one thing. When I came out, I was thinking completely different. I was able to take the time in treatment to concentrate only on myself. All the otherworldly events of work, bills, significant others/spouses, responsibilities were all taken off the table for me. There were no outside distractions to draw me back in. Look at treatment as detox/stabilization, inpatient treatment, and aftercare. There are several levels of care to work through on a continuum, I’m keeping it basic for the blog entry.
When I went through detox it was gut-wrenching. I am so very blessed and my family offered me the gift of a private treatment center. They did not pay for the detox. I went through two weeks of misery, pain, sleepless nights, diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, muscle aches, anxiety, rollercoaster of emotions from laughter to crying to anger to despair. I couldn’t acclimate my body temperature. I would sweat through the sheets and toss and turn all night as my anxieties increased. To this day 8 years later I have never forgotten those feelings. Finally, I came out of it and started to feel physically better. I got cleared and stepped into my inpatient program.
Inpatient treatment was something that I wasn’t prepared for. I had this thought that treatment would be a breeze, everything would be laid out for me and all I would have to do is my time then I’m done, wrong wrong wrong. Hindsight from treatment is understanding that detox is about getting all of that poison out of your system. Inpatient treatment is when you get that rush of emotions and feelings you have pushed down for so many years comes flooding to the surface. Inpatient treatment is about starting to understand what makes you tick. What are you running from? Understanding why you act that way in a certain situation. Getting new tools and outlooks so when situations arise, you can reflect and not fly off the handle, to be in control of your feelings and emotions to the best of your abilities. Treatment is starting a good foundation of recovery and getting good clean time under your belt. Treatment is structure, accountability, honesty, responsibility, communication, transparency. Working towards becoming the best version of yourself, your real self not a product of drugs and alcohol. Stay as long as you can. You will feel cured after a few weeks and this is normal. Don’t rush, everything is the same at home. You’re worth taking the time out for you. 45 days is better than 30. 60 days is better than 45. I stayed five months or 150 days and I could have stayed longer.
Aftercare is very crucial to the process. Inpatient treatment is a controlled environment that will help you with new outlooks, therapy, structure, and accountability. Continue that structure, therapy, and accountability in the real world. Get that job, get that transitional living environment, continue your therapy. The first year is the most crucial, without solid aftercare plans it’s very easy to fall back into old habits. Continue growing and learning. Take that fearless moral inventory, make amends, embrace those uncomfortable situations.
Everything happens for a reason. You don’t have all the answers and that’s okay. Strive for progress, not perfection. You can do this! You can achieve all your wildest dreams and aspirations with a sober mind.