Perhaps you are thinking about or have made the decision to get help for your addiction. This is a difficult decision to make, but it is also a life-saving decision. Before going to rehab, it is important to have some strategies for getting the most out of your time in treatment. Keep the following in mind, both during your preparation beforehand and during your treatment phase.
1. Tie up any Loose Ends Before Going into Addiction Treatment
Before entering rehab, there are several steps you may need to take to prepare. In general, it is important that you take care of any work, family or financial obligations. Because while you are in treatment, your entire focus should ideally be on yourself and your recovery. If you are stressing about your life outside of treatment it will be difficult to maintain that focus. Additionally, if you return to a chaotic situation upon completing treatment, you may be more prone to relapse. After all, stress is a major relapse trigger.
2. Only Bring the Essentials to Inpatient Rehab
While getting ready for treatment, think about what you want to bring with you. It is understandably tempting to bring reminders of home to a new place, but this may not be the best idea for your recovery. Once again, the focus needs to be on you and getting yourself mentally and physically healthy. Reminders of home may serve as distractions from this focus. Bringing only the essentials is an extra precaution to help you get the most out of your time away.
3. Fill up on Encouragement from Loved Ones
This step has to do with preparing yourself mentally. The decision to go into treatment has likely come with encouragement and motivation from close family and friends. Before treatment, spend time with loved ones — this will help keep you strong in your decision to get sober. Any doubts or fear you feel will be minimized with the love and encouragement of those close to you.
4. Keep an Open Mind
Keeping an open mind is an essential part to getting the most out of recovery. It is not easy to go into treatment without expectations and preconceived ideas but the more you can be open to the process, the more you will be able to benefit from it. Notice when you have expectations about yourself or your treatment programme, and try to surrender them.
5. Form Recovery Friendships
Rehab is a place where you will meet people who have shared many of the same struggles as you. Addiction attacks our self-esteem and therefore, especially for those in treatment, the idea of making new friends can be scary. It is natural to be fearful of rejection, but remember that everyone you are with is more or less in the same boat. Making friends in rehab will provide you with additional support that can last well into recovery.
6. Do Not Be Afraid to Speak up in Group Therapy
Once again, low self-esteem is a symptom of addiction that can make it difficult to speak your mind in a group of people. If you start to feel apprehensive about speaking your truth, remind yourself that everyone there understands how you are feeling – definitely more so than people who are not in rehab. By speaking up in group sessions, you are ensuring that you get the most out of the experience. Bringing up issues that are most important to you is the best use of your time in group. It is also likely the struggles you want to discuss are shared by your peers — this can help others be brave about sharing theirs as well.
7. Be Patient
Being patient in addiction treatment is a challenging but important practice. It is easier said than done, but if you can practice being patient with yourself, with others and with the process, it will serve you well in both the short and long term. A great way to teach yourself patience is through mindfulness meditation, which has a hugely positive impact on recovery. Being present creates the necessary space for patience to grow. When we are not present is when we start to feel impatient. Remember that every little step is part of the journey.
Taking the Leap: Getting Addiction Treatment
If you are struggling with addiction and thinking about going into treatment, Shafa Home offers quality treatment options for a wide range of substance and behavioural addictions. Contact us today to take the first step towards recovery.
(This article is the sole property of “The Cabin Chiang Mai”; they are its original authors)