Going to a detoxification center can be frightening. There are so many questions that you might have about what to expect when you get there and how you will be spending your time. You might worry that you will be isolated away from others during your stay. You might also be worried about mending or rebuilding friendships when you get back out as you try to stay on the path of sobriety. Learning how to be a better person and how to deal with other people will be part of the skills you will be expected to learn during your stay.
Sessions: One on One and Groups
During your stay you will be doing a lot of work and personal reflection. Some of this might take the form of written work where you may be asked to keep a journal so that you can keep track of your progress, work through memories or maybe answer specific questions that are given to you during the day. You will also go to different counseling sessions. The one on one sessions allow you to face really harrowing and emotional things. Group sessions help you to see that you are not alone and that there are many people with similar stories to your own. You may also get to hear from people who have little to nothing in common with you for a full perspective on how alcohol can affect everyone, no matter who they are or how “great” their life might seem to outsiders.
It is not uncommon to seek out and to find a like soul in any situation that you are in at the time. During rehab you may find that one person that you can connect with without having to feel that the connection is born out of professional obligation. This person will not only be able to relate to your struggles you can relax and feel like yourself without worry that they are judging you or trying too hard not to say the wrong thing to you.
There may be some restrictions on how close you can get to other people during your stay though. Some facilities have a strict rule that prevents close personal relationships and dating during rehab and they highly recommend that it not happen immediately after leaving either for a number of reasons. Since the main reason you are there is work on your improved health and sobriety, relationships should not be what you are focusing on.
Dealing With People You Don’t Care For
Rehab will not be all sunshine and roses, everyone knows that. There will be conflicts. Those conflicts might arise with staff members, other clients or with your family when they come to visit. Learning how to deal with people that you disagree with or with people that you have no interest in knowing is a vital skill to work on and not only for people who have alcohol problems. Conflict resolution and how you deal with confrontations might be something that your team wants to see you improve on especially if they believe that this may be one of your triggers for negative behaviors like drinking or lashing out.
The world is full of very different people and not everyone is going to be your perfect cup of tea.How you handle that fact and those people becomes a choice that adults have to face everyday whether it is for work, friends they have fallen out of favor with or family members that like to grind your gears for fun. You have to be able to take responsibility for not only how you feel but how you react to those people. With some you can walk away but with others you will have to face them and learn to deal with conflicts in other ways.
Reconnecting After Rehab
You might stay in touch with some of the people that you were in rehab with. This could be very good or a terrible mistake depending on how strong your support system is and how strongly you are resolved to staying clean. You may decide to do things like carpool to meetings and you may bond over other things like how hard it is to get used to a routine outside of rehab at first. You may also try to find new hobbies that do not involve the temptation to drink. As long as you are both focusing on the things you need to focus on for yourselves while cultivating a relationship, it should be fine.
But, keep in mind that there is a dynamic of substituting one thing for another which is common for people with addictive personalities. Instead of drinking you are going to be drunk on love and friendship. If you find yourself focusing all of your time and energy on your new friend even though you only have that one thing in common there might be a problem. Don’t become so overwhelmed with familiarity that you mistake it for abiding friendship or worse, for love.
Make sure that you are not pushing friends and family away for your new friend. If you have a support system and the friend does not they may be jealous and resentful and will poison your mind against the people who knew you before rehab, stood with you during rehab and were waiting for you when you left. Don’t let that person pass their own negativity over to you.
Friendships blossom and sometimes they grow and sometimes they wither and die. Don’t assume that you are going to have to stay life time friends with someone just because you went through the experience of rehab together. A shared experience is just that. You are allowed to decide that this is not someone you have a lot in common with and walk away. You are responsible for yourself and no one else.
If you or someone you love needs help with drug or alcohol addiction and might be ready to talk to someone, give us a call anytime of the day or night at 877-978-3148.