How Do I Prepare for Rehab?
There are a few things you can do to prepare for rehab so that you know when you get there, you are focused only on learning the skills needed to stay sober.
Planning For Addiction Treatment
After you’ve committed to going to an addiction treatment center, it’s time to think about the steps you should take in order to be fully prepared for your stay in rehab. Feeling stressed about putting things such as your family obligations, work, or bills on hold while in rehabilitation is normal.
However, it’s important to understand that all of these things can be dealt with by taking time to prepare for treatment.
If you have decided it’s time for rehabilitation, you have already taken the most difficult step. Now, it’s about taking the appropriate measures that will allow you to return to a positive space where you can successfully use the skills you learned in rehab.
Taking steps to prepare for rehabilitation ensures that your mind is at peace and you can stay focused on maintaining your sobriety while in recovery. Outlined below are things you can do in the weeks leading up to your entering a rehabilitation center.
Take Care of Work and Family Obligations
Even though you may be hesitant to discuss your upcoming rehabilitation stay with your employer, you need to let them know as soon as possible. Employers appreciate happy, healthy, and productive employees. The sooner you are able to get the recovery help you need, the sooner you will be able to return to work.
According to the Family and Medical Leave Act, you are entitled to up to 12 weeks of medical leave, so your job will be protected during your stay in rehab.
If you’re a caregiver to children, elderly parents or even your pets, now is the time to make sure your loved ones are being taken care of while you’re away. Enlist the help of family or friends to look after your children, parents or pets while you are away. Consider looking into options for temporary care if family and friends are unavailable.
Tie Up Any Financial or Legal Loose Ends
You will more than likely have bills that need to be paid while you are away. You don’t want to return from rehabilitation ready to begin your new life and have to face possible financial stress. Sign up for automatic payments or ask someone you trust to make sure your bills get paid while you are away.
“Tell [your] family goodbye and try to leave jobs, bills, and drama outside. Be willing to change. Look at yourself. Be honest.” – Lori M., recovering addict
If applicable and necessary, make sure you communicate with your attorney and the court system that you will be entering a rehabilitation facility. Even if it is verbally understood that you are entering a facility, you might consider getting the legal “ok” on paper.
Make Sure You Have the Essentials – And Only the Essentials
Before entering the rehabilitation center, check to see what you are allowed to bring with you. It may be tempting to take things that remind you of home, but taking only the things you really need will make sure you are adhering to your center’s set of allowed items.
“I would say go with anything you have and if not, go with nothing — but go! It can change life. It has for me! The clothes and stuff you can get later, but you probably won’t have another opportunity to save your life.” – Jacqueline V, recovering addict
Don’t compromise your sobriety. By adhering to the facilities guidelines you will be able to minimize outside distractions so that you can focus on your recovery. Your focus should be on yourself and getting the best treatment you can. Leave any extra distractions behind – they’ll be there when you leave the center.
Questions about treatment?
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Enjoy the Company You Keep
You will feel that you have to accomplish a million things before you enter rehabilitation. But, the most important thing you can do during this time is enjoy the company of the positive people in your life. They can offer you inspiration and reassure you of your decision to get help.
You might consider reaching out to your loved one and let them know how much you care about them. Let them know how grateful you are to have them in your life. Explain to them exactly why you’re entering rehab, and the changes you expect to see in yourself when you return. By doing this, you are beginning to hold yourself accountable to your decision to stay sober.
Write a Letter or Keep a Journal
Write a letter to yourself or a loved one. The letter can be about anything that is on your mind at the time – from a list of goals you’d like to accomplish while in rehabilitation to things you want to do when you check out. The contents of the letter are not as important as is the importance of keeping your mind busy and understanding how you feel about the situation.
Another way to understand your thoughts and feelings is to begin keeping a journal. You can begin to document how you are feeling each day. Journaling also helps you understand what has become more or less difficult for you in the days prior to entering the facility.
“Take a blank notebook and journal. It was really useful and still is handy to go back and see just how far I have come.” – Jenn, recovering addict
If you’re stuck in a rut or are unsure how to get started with your journaling, here are a few helpful journaling prompts to get you started:
- My favorite way to spend the day is…
- If I could talk to my teenage self, the one thing I would say is…
- The two moments I’ll never forget in my life are… (describe them in great detail, and what makes them so unforgettable)
Take Time to Relax
Why not get a head start in preparation for rehabilitation? You can begin preparing yourself today. Taking time to relax is a good way to begin your journey.
Think of something that truly relaxes you. Is it taking a walk around the block? Soaking in a warm bath? Watching a favorite show? Spend time doing the things that will place you in a relaxed state of mind. Allow yourself to begin to get excited about this new chapter in your life. Being nervous about the unknown is normal, but allowing your mind to be relaxed and as calm as possible will be extremely beneficial to you in the days leading to your departure.
Start Preparing For Rehab Today
The decision to go to treatment center for your addiction to drugs or alcohol is a monumental step that will make things so much better for you and the people who love you. Understand taht you are making this decision in order to make a better life for yourself and your loved ones. When you are mentally and emotionally prepared to enter treatment, you will get the most out of your treatment experience.
Do you or someone you love need help preparing for rehab? Please call us now to learn what else you can do to prepare for treatment.