What is the secret to getting the most benefit from your stay at a residential treatment facility?
There are a couple of things that you should keep in mind if you are going into rehab and you want to do well:
1) Stay open minded. This is the most important one by far, but if you are already agreeing to treatment, then you are probably ahead of the game with this one. People who have to be convinced to go into rehab are at a distinct disadvantage in terms of staying clean and sober, because they are likely not very open minded.
For example, say that you hate AA meetings. You absolutely hate them. You refuse to speak at them. This is fine, and actually normal to a point. Just go with it. Go to the meetings. Hate them all you want. But go sit through them, and try to see value in them.
This is an attitude problem. For example, say that I claim to hate math. I just hate it. But if you told me to go sit in a math class, and try to learn something, try to get something positive out of it, is it not reasonable to expect that I COULD get benefit from that math class, if only I had the right attitude? If I became willing to do so?
Sure, anyone can learn something, no matter how stupid the “class” is. So if you hate math, or if you hate AA, just push that hatred aside, and decide that YOU ARE GOING TO LEARN SOMETHING. This is a shift in attitude. Anyone can make this shift. They just have to be willing.
This is how to stay open minded in rehab. Become willing to learn something new about yourself. If you are not willing to learn, then you should not be in rehab. You should be still out there, dying from your addiction.
Become willing to learn.
2) Be humble and follow the rules. This is easy to say, harder to do. Especially true if you have been to treatment before, because now you sort of “know it all,” and yet you still relapsed and need the help. So be humble. And make sure you follow all the rules, take them very seriously, as this is a strong indicator of your future success in recovery. Those who break the rules in rehab always relapse. I am sure there is an exception out there but I have never seen it yet. You gotta learn to follow the basic rules if you are going to succeed in recovery.
3) Follow through with real action. This is the key component of your long term success in recovery. Do you follow through? Do you do what they tell you to do at rehab and actually take action and turn your life around?
The fact is that it is easy to go to rehab. It is easy to check into treatment. And it is really easy to stay clean and sober while you are there.
And it is pretty easy to stay clean and sober the day you get out of rehab. That is not too difficult.
But a year later? Shoot. Statistically, something like only 2 percent will still be clean and sober a year later. Even after a month after walking out of rehab, something like 60 percent have relapsed.
But these numbers are not here to intimidate you. They are here to inspire you to take action. You can be in the 2 percent who make it to a year clean and sober, if only you commit to taking real action and actually changing your life. Most people who leave rehab are not willing to take action.