Working in drug and alcohol addiction treatment, I have helped to usher in many patients and have also observed their progress, or lack thereof, throughout their treatment. The reasons why people come to treatment are all pretty much the same; they’re tired. They’re tired of running, they’re tired of lying, but most of all they’re tired of seeing the same things, the same old patterns, the same disappointments, the grief, the shame, and on and on and on… One thing is for sure, to come to treatment you are asking for a help. There is a problem, you recognize the problem, have tried to solve it on your own, and ultimately, have been unsuccessful.
“The same way of thinking that got you into this mess cannot possibly get you out”
Every single person that walks through the front door of a treatment center, on some level, has humbled themselves enough to ask for help. In my experience, those that are successful inside and outside the walls of treatment are those that stay humble and open minded.
Those that hold onto their pride, ego, and the same way of thinking (“know-it-alls”), don’t last, they just don’t. Many come in with humble hearts, yet often get too comfortable and complacent and the days/weeks just seem to roll by. Don’t let this fate be your own. Take advantage of every moment you have within the program. It is such a small window of time in comparison to your life. I’ve seen individuals go through the treatment process multiple times before understanding this concept.
Hit the ground running.
Before you take the leap of faith to enter your recovery use self-talk to set the intention of self-development. This will be your last time in treatment. You will work harder than you ever have in your entire life. Which brings me to my next point: You must be prepared to work hard, very, very hard. I’ve gotten the feeling that some who have walked through our doors feel as though that coming to treatment will be as easy as filling a prescription. This is not the case. Like anything in life, you get back what you put in. Simply showing up to school does not guarantee a good grade, you must pay attention, study, and perform well to get the results you desire. You will be given all the tools you need and instructions to live the life that you truly want for yourself, but you must execute.
“Don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s all small stuff”
Once you have checked into treatment and adapted into the community, you will find like any community there will, at some point, be personality clashes and drama. Don’t waste your energy. Build positive relationships with your peers, but this is not a popularity contest. Thrive within the community, grow within the process of resocialization, however, your journey, your recovery, must maintain at the top of your priorities above all else. Each day is precious and I’ve seen patients completely waste an entire day over the pettiest of matters. Do your best to recognize when you see yourself slipping into issues that really don’t matter in the grand scheme of things.
The last 7-10 days of treatment need to be solely dedicated to setting up a realistic plan for sustained success. After all, treatment for drug and/or alcohol addiction is only meant to build you a solid foundation in your recovery. The real work starts once you leave rehab. Work with your case manager as much as possible to pick the right halfway house or IOP program for yourself. Do your homework. Ask around. When leaving inpatient treatment some think that they can just go back to their old lives without ANY follow-up care. I head caution to anyone that takes this path in their journey.
“You can’t change overnight, but if you add those nights up you’ll find yourself where you want to be”
Fill your Journey with love and patience. Understand that once adjusted in treatment it will become the norm, which can result in a “just getting by” demeanor. Keep the fire in your heart and purpose in your eyes. Be open to anything and everything; stay clear of any preconceived notions about treatment, the 12 steps, whatever it may be. Treatment is a place to grow, to develop, to evolve. Work towards that every second, of every minute, of every day and you will get to where you want to go to!