A first stay in rehab will feel confusing, unpredictable, and even a little unreal at times. You can expect to feel nervous and uncomfortable, and to be put into situations that are entirely new to you. The good news is that everyone who is new to rehab feels this way, so there's nothing to be ashamed of.
Just getting yourself out the door and into the rehab center is a big step in the right direction. But there will be more challenges on the way, including challenges to the way you think and perceive yourself.
Going through treatment will require that you take a critical look at yourself and make some big changes that are going to be scary at first. Knowing a little bit more about what to expect when starting addiction treatment can help you get in the right mindset for getting the most out of rehab.
Don't expect it to be easy or comfortable. From attending group sessions to individual therapy and activities with others, rehab is all about getting you out of your comfort zone and into the process of making a big transformation with your life.
As time progress in treatment, you'll find that you've grown accustomed to the way people speak, the activities, and feeling different about yourself. The discomfort of being sober will always be a challenge, but you'll learn to be stronger and cope with the unpleasantness of it in healthier ways. Knowing that treatment is going to be a challenge right off the bat is important.
2. You will have doubts about your addiction. Everyone does this from time to time, especially in rehab when others are sharing their experiences with addiction. You may find yourself comparing your addiction to the stories you hear, and wondering if you really need to be there at all.
Other times, you'll feel you're overreacting and taking the whole thing too seriously. During these moments, remind yourself that if your addiction wasn't a problem you wouldn't have started treatment in the first place.
Remind yourself of what brought you there in the first place. It's never a good idea to compare yourself to others, so make it a point to break that bad habit early on.
3. You will have to face shame and embarrassment. There is really no way to avoid these emotions in rehab. Treatment involves facing past mistakes, and that will inevitable lead to feelings of shame. The best thing to do is embrace the feeling and know that it's a necessary part of growing and making changes happen.
4. You'll feel like giving up. There will be one or even several moments where you'll want to walk out on treatment. These are the moments where sobriety in itself just seems so overwhelming, or you feel overwhelmed by feelings of shame, fear, or are simply just sick of it all.
Push through those moments and know that they are challenges that are placed in front of you to make you stronger. In the end, you'll end up feeling incredibly grateful for all the progress you've made.
5. You'll meet strong, inspiring people. Rehab puts you in touch with people of all ages and from all walks of life that you wouldn't normally meet. Having addiction in common however, can draw people together in a unique way.
You can draw strength and inspiration from each other's stories, and provide each other with support in your weakest moments. You may never see some of the people from rehab after completing treatment, but they have certainly made an impact on your life. And hopefully you make one on theirs as well.