Everyone’s experience in rehab is different, depending on their history of use, the type of treatment they seek, their support network, and where they go to rehab. But there are some things that everyone can expect.
Expect to Be Uncomfortable
There is a saying in recovery ⎼ “get comfortable with being uncomfortable” ⎼ and it is particularly true when it comes to treatment. Rehab is all about change. It is adjusting to a new environment, learning new rules, meeting new people, and sharing your feelings in front of strangers. It can all be very uncomfortable at first. But over time, you can learn to push through your discomfort and grow. Know that feeling uneasy is normal and part of the process. Don’t let it discourage you from giving recovery your all.
Expect It Will Be Difficult
No one has ever said recovery is easy, and that’s because it isn’t. Addiction treatment is more than just going to rehab. For treatment to work, you must put in the work. You have to let your guard down and open up to your clinician. You have to actively participate in group therapy, you have to obey the rules. You have to be open to change. And most importantly, you have to be honest with yourself and others. Some moments will be more challenging than others. Prepare to work hard for your recovery. It will all be worth it in the end.
Expect to Want to Quit
Withdrawal symptoms, cravings, homesickness ⎼ they can all make you want to grab your bags and return to your old life. Recovery can seem so distant, so hard, and at times, too impossible to attain. It is normal to have bad days that make you question whether you want to stay in treatment. Know that many others have felt this way and are now thriving in recovery, and you can too. Push through any negative feelings, doubt, and defeatist attitudes, and focus on how far you’ve come. Be proud of your progress and excited for your future.
Expect to Make Lasting Friendships
Addiction is lonely, but recovery is all about making connections and forming lasting bonds. Opening up may be difficult the first few days, but once you do, you will realize how much you and others in rehab have in common. You will find yourself surrounded by others who want to see you succeed. And because your relationships will be founded on honesty, trust, and support, they will continue long after you have left treatment. Learning how to better communicate and share your feelings with others will also help strengthen past friendships and family relationships as well as help you open up to forming new bonds in your new, sober life.
You are going to be a different person after you have successfully completed treatment, and that is exactly the goal: for you to become a better version of yourself. A version that is kind, open, and honest. And while there may be times when you may be tempted to revert to your old behaviors, you will have the tools and support to stay on the right path. Changing is a big part of treatment. Prepare for some people in your life to not be supportive of the new, healthier you. It is unfortunate, but does happen, and it is best to cut off anyone who doesn’t support your sober lifestyle.