Entering treatment for drug and alcohol addiction is a life-altering decision; if you have recently contemplated starting on the pathway to health and healing, congratulations! You are about to take some powerful steps to reclaim your health and life once more.
The process of recovery—what is it like?
There are several components to addiction recovery—it is an all=encompassing process of physical, mental, and emotional healing. You’ll likely have help and support as you manage the physical symptoms of addiction recovery with medicines and therapies that make you more comfortable, but there is some all-important work that you must do to truly heal and thrive again. Here is how you will see support as you recover from substance abuse:
- The creation of an individualized program for you put together by addiction recovery specialists
- Personalized assessments of your habits and addictions
- A complete physical and the implementation of a detox program to manage physical symptoms
- Medication if needed
- Access to social and wellness activities
- Access to nutrition counseling
- Individual and group therapy sessions
Of all of the systems of support, therapy seems to be the one that invokes the most anxiety and dread. Few people wish to air their most dirty laundry in front of complete strangers, and it is incredibly difficult to air some of one’s darkest moments in front of others. It is absolutely the most critical piece of addiction recovery, however, as it allows you to dig deep into the roots of addiction—the attitudes, thoughts, and behaviors that put you in a position to succumb to drugs and alcohol in the first place.
If you are in the middle of recovery, and you are facing your impending first therapy session, remember one thing—many have been there before you, and they have likely all felt those feelings of fear, anxiety, and uncertainty that you are now feeling. As you prepare to face your darkness and your”self” in hopes of finding a new life again, take these strategies to heart in order to make your recovery authentic and effective:
Tip #1: Breathe deeply Studies show that deep, slow breathing helps to turn off negative, obsessive thoughts that can contribute to the development of anxiety and fear. Why not download an app on your phone that offers short meditations and breathwork sessions? Taking a few precious minutes every day to invest in yourself will benefit you mentally, emotionally, and physically. Practice anytime you feel a dose of anxiousness coming on.
Tip #2: Ask questions There is a lot of uncertainty in the unknown—and with uncertainty comes a tendency to feel fear and trepidation. Working through recovery means working through a lot of uncertainty. If you have the opportunity to do so, craft a list of questions to ask your therapist prior to your first appointment. If you know a little bit more about what to expect on that day, you’ll be less likely to be overcome with negative thoughts and emotions as you walk in the door.
Tip #3: Release judgement Your therapist is not there to judge you. Other patients and practitioners are not in the room to judge you; your primary purpose for being there is complete life healing. Focusing on what you do want and letting go of the thought that “others might be judging” your individual situation will allow you to direct more energy to the business of healing. Everyone has issues, everyone has struggles, embrace yours and the fact that they were a part of your story on the way to health and healing.
Tip #4: Know that there will be strong emotions involved Therapy in addiction recovery is not a time to hold back or to try to be dishonest with yourself. As you begin to peel the layers, don’t be afraid to express emotion—strong emotion. On the other side of that volatile expression of feelings is some welcome relief and a deeper understanding of yourself that opens the door to true and lasting healing.
Tip #5: Focus on what you can control There is much of the addiction and recovery process that you cannot control—focus on those aspects of recovery that you can control. Practice some self-care techniques, do something enjoyable to distract yourself prior to your appointment, and connect with friends and loved ones who can reinforce the fact that you are making the right decision. Do what you can to make yourself feel better prior to the appointment, and you might feel better about the approaching commitment to enter therapy.
You are making the right choice
Entering recovery and all that it entails is the right choice to reclaim your health and your life. While there may be intense moments of discomfort, know that you have taken the first steps toward living life on a deeper, more meaningful level once more. Don’t hesitate, call us today at 833-762-3739 to see how we can put you on the pathway to a life free from substance abuse–your healthier life is calling!