The recovery process is all about making life-long changes. That applies to how you think about and cope with the world, and the role of drugs or alcohol as part of that coping mechanism. The lessons learned in rehab can apply to every aspect of your life and future success, not just sober living. Some breakthroughs will be expected, while others will be gained incidentally during the process, and in way you could never imagine.
You’ll Learn About How Addiction Happens
Even if you remember your drug awareness classes from middle or high school, chances are you still don’t know much about how your mind and body become dependent on the high. For many people, it starts with experimentation or a little weekend partying that gets out of hand. Others begin with a prescription from their doctor and slide into opioid dependence before they realize what’s happening.
Mental and psychical health problems are often intertwined with substance use, whether you begin by self-medicating or the problems develop due to extended or severe use. Part of your recovery experience will be to learn about the impact of drug use on your brain chemistry and biological systems. Awareness of how physical and psychological addictions happen can help you identify symptoms and warnings signs in yourself and others.
You’ll Learn How To Make Better Choices
Education is at the center of most recovery programs. But, learning isn’t limited to the concrete facts about the effects of drugs or alcohol on your physical and emotional body. Rehab also teaches you how to deal with the real world. You’ll learn how to avoid risky situations and positive ways of coping with those that you can’t avoid.
Triggers is a trendy word right now, but identifying thoughts, situations, and feelings that accompany use is an essential life skill. This internal dialogue utilizes the concept of mindfulness to help you overcome the temptation to slip by teaching you to evaluate:
- Your current attitude toward substance use. This can fluctuate throughout the rest of your life. One day, you will be militantly against it, and another that one drink, pill, or shot can’t hurt because you’re a different person now.
- What it is that you want to feel when you use?
- How you really feel when you use.
Learning to take the time to step back and answer these questions will help you master impulse control.
Overcoming Fear of Entering Rehab
One of the biggest factors that keeps people from seeking help is fear. That could mean fear of making a change, fear of the unknown, or fear of facing your demons. It’s often all of the above. One of the things you’ll learn in recovery is that you’re not alone.
These are common concerns that all of us deal with at one time or another, whether we’re in a rehab or not. However, there are some fears that are particularly strong with addicts, and sometimes only people who have been there will understand. Here are five of the biggest, and how you can get past them and into recovery.
Fear of Feelings
One of the hallmarks of addiction is numbness. We either get high because we feel nothing or because we feel too much and it hurts. The specter of facing the world and all of its pain or joy sober can be daunting. Feelings may make you uncomfortable, but they have never killed anyone; continued use will.
Fear of Losing Yourself
People who become dependent on substances sometimes sacrifice their identity to the addiction. To them, it is their identity. Learning who you are without the cloak of dependency makes you feel vulnerable. Remember that is is a temporary bout of confusion and try to see it as an opportunity to reinvent yourself.
Fear of Owning Your Past
Whether this fear is based on reliving a childhood trauma or guilt over your own behavior, this is one of the biggest hurdles that those in recovery will face. Coming to terms with the past and learning that you’re only human is where therapy comes in. You’ll be able to hear about other people’s experiences and put your own into perspective.
Fear That Your Life Will Change
The fact is, it will. Hopefully, it will change for the better, but there’s always the risk that important relationships will fall by the wayside. If these relationships revolve around drinking or drug use, you will have to face the fact that you’re better off. The people in your life who are real will come back.
Fear That You’ll Never Have Fun Again (or that you’ll never be fun again)
If you think about this honestly, how much fun were you experiencing in the throes of your addiction? Sure, there may have been good times, killer parties, and lots of laughs. Chances are that if you’re considering treatment, the laughter died out a long time ago,
You’ll Learn About Yourself
If there’s one thing that habitual substance users are good at, it’s denial. Often, people don’t seek help until they’ve reached a personal bottom and there’s no other way to go but up or out. Private and group counseling will leave you no place to hide. Counselors and fellow residents have heard it all before, or they’ve been there themselves. Through this process, you’ll learn to see yourself honestly and to take responsibility for your actions as well as your own well-being and happiness. You’ll also be able to respond to people and situations constructively instead of reacting or retreating.
You won’t only focus on the negative, but being challenged will lead to breakthroughs in thinking. Recovery is ultimately a positive experience that’s meant to change destructive behaviors and thought patterns. Many lessons learned in recovery are the building blocks for success in many areas of life. They include:
- Effective communication skills
- How to create serenity and peace of mind in any situation
- How to reach out for help when you need it
- How to reach out and help others
- Time management and self-discipline
- Goal setting and follow-through
- How to cope with failure – and success
- How to give up control
Best of all, you’ll learn how strong you really are.
Taking initiative is another skill you’ll master in rehab. Start now by reaching out to us at 888-380-0342 and begin your new life today. Counselors are available 24/7.