Rehab is no picnic, I can tell you this much, irrespective of what the cleverly designed pamphlets might tell you. You wonít have a lot of time to explore the beauty of the surroundings or contemplate the calming paintings in the hallways. You wonít particularly enjoy the recreational activities. Not when thereís an itch for alcohol thatís just waiting to be scratched. No, my friends, rehab will, on multiple occasions, make you feel like youíre in hell. However, I also want to tell you that it constitutes an absolutely mandatory step in the process of recovery.
But I Can Do it On My Own!
Thinking that you can beat addiction through sheer willpower is a costly mistake. Picture your road to recovery as a ladder; if that ladder is missing a step, you are quite likely to fall. All metaphors aside, let me tell you about my own experience with rehab and how I finally decided itís for the best to finish my treatment, in spite of that little voice in the back of my head that always kept pushing for the opposite.
How it Started
When I arrived at the gates, in spite of my seemingly iron will to engage in the program, I realized that I really, really didn’t want to be there. Although it was my own decision and the enrollment was voluntarily, I was trying my best to put the decision on my wifeís shoulders and find an excuse to change my mind. I didn’t; I eventually walked through the doors, head held low and signed all the paperwork admitting that I, of my own free will, wish to go into rehab. Boy, was I in for a treat!
The First Few Days
This is when it gets tricky. You go on for half a week without drinking and it seems so ridiculously easy. You start thinking, wow, why am I paying these guys to isolate me from my family and friends when I can easily stay sober on my own and from the comfort of my home? Well, it doesn’t last very long. Soon enough the cravings start to kick in.
The Middle of the Program
I became increasingly nervous, snapping at everyone and, in spite of the medication, I was just not able to calm down. The thought in my head was that it would be so easier to relax if I could have just one drink. Just one! This is when youíre seriously starting to ponder abandoning the whole thing because hey, quitting cold turkey isn’t my style. Iím sure I could gradually ease out of it.
Towards the End
At this point youíre just beginning to realize that you have actually made a lot of productivity over the course of the treatment. By now you know every sob story there is, you’ve learned numerous more or less applicable methods to avoid a relapse, and youíre carefully planning the rehab-to-real life transition process.
Youíre just scraping the surface! Applying your knowledge about maintaining sobriety and avoiding triggers in the real world is more difficult than you think. But the treatment has prepared you for that.
P.S. It wasn’t just the important breakthroughs that kept me from leaving rehab before the treatment was completed or the statistics correlating abandoning the program early and relapse. I’ve witnessed alcoholics who boasted their ability to quit on their own walk in and out the doors of my facility more times than I can count. I decided then that no matter what your mind tells you, you canít do it alone.