Whether it’s your first time going to rehab or not, there’s always uncertainty that comes with it. As the patient, you’re likely to be worried about the future, and whether your stay at this facility will make any difference to your problem. Such feelings are normal given the fact that you’re taking a big step towards sobriety. This is a crucial part of your life, which is why everyone around you hopes that it’ll work. Unfortunately, though, those expectations only add to your pressure.
Many people that seek rehabilitation are mostly addicted to alcohol or smoking. But there are other reasons that could force you to go that route, and it’s completely normal. For instance, being addicted to Nyquil or other prescription drugs may require the services of a therapist for you to overcome.
Either way, it’s worth noting that your early days are likely to be tightly scheduled with counseling and psychotherapy, meditation, as well as a wide range of exercises. So, given such schedules and the pressure from friends and family, here’s how you can ensure that your rehab experience is a success: (1)
1. Accomplish smaller goals daily
Many people make a mistake of tasking themselves with the need to be sober. It might seem like a good plan from the outside but it can be an overwhelming journey even for the most dedicated people. So, rather than going that route, you can look to accomplish smaller goals every day.
For instance, instead of focusing on not drinking, you can look for something that’ll keep you busy during that time. Eating a healthy breakfast or a simple task like making your bed can divert your thoughts. You can also decide to go through your emails every morning.
The idea is to have a small goal that you can manage to achieve within minutes or a few hours. This way, you’ll remain focused throughout the day, diverting your mind to the need of intaking the substance you’re addicted to.
2. Leverage the benefits of a support network
No matter how tough you might be, it’s always difficult to go through the rehab process alone. Facing all the hurdles by yourself can make these barriers appear too big to overcome. But when you have people around you with similar goals, it becomes a lot easier.
Within the rehab center, you’ll definitely develop relationships with members of your group therapy. These are people who are looking to achieve the same goals as you, but that doesn’t mean they’ve gone through the same journey. Therefore, sharing your experiences, and them doing the same, will give you a different perspective towards life.
Remember, your therapists also play a vital role in the support group. They’ll give you all the tools and resources you need to overcome the challenges that may come your way. It’s worth noting, though, that a support network doesn’t only involve those people you met during therapy sessions. Your family and friends, especially those that you trust, can also help you cope with the new life.
3. Consider something that lifts your spirits
Sometimes, the urge to become a clean person can be quite overwhelming, especially when you don’t seem to see any changes. In fact, this is one of the main reasons why many people relapse and render all the previous therapy sessions a failure.
If you feel like you might head in that direction, you can use something that you love to lift your spirits. For instance, a picture of your favorite location in the world or that of your family can motivate you to keep working harder towards your ultimate goal. (3)
Seeing your happy family in the photos can encourage you to move forward in sobriety. It’ll also help you develop a positive attitude towards rehabilitation, which is one of the important steps toward recovery. Everybody is lifted by a different thing, so find yours and embrace it during your time in rehab.
4. Don’t expect sobriety to come easy
Addiction is a chronic condition that won’t go away in a snap. It requires a continuous treatment strategy and a lot of dedication. However, despite your determination to achieve sobriety, that might not be the feeling that you wake up to every day.
There will be days that you’ll feel emotionally disengaged, and you might want to consider the idea of relapse because it’ll seem like the most desirable option. You need to realize that this is an entirely normal feeling; everyone suffering from substance addiction feels that way from time to time. (2)
The best way to deal with such an experience is to share it with the rest of the group during therapy sessions. You’ll be surprised how many more people are struggling with the same cravings. By sharing, it shows that you’re committed to the course, and will encourage you to overcome the temptations one day at a time.
Substance addiction can be very difficult to treat, especially if you’ve been drinking or smoking for many years. However, with a proper rehabilitation center and program, you can overcome this problem and go back to living a sober life.
To ensure that you achieve this goal, you’ll first need to understand that even the smallest goals matter in your journey. Let your support network help you with a few tips here and there as you work towards your ultimate target. Keep in mind, though, that sobriety doesn’t come easy, and you’ll have to deal with a lot of cravings along the way.
1. “Addiction Services”, Source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/departments-centers/psychiatry/addiction-services/overview
2. “5 Triggers of Relapse and How to Avoid Them”, Source: https://www.verywellmind.com/why-did-i-relapse-21900
3. “Relapse Prevention and the Five Rules of Recovery”, Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4553654/