Entering an addiction-recovery program is a huge decision, and it is important to know how big of a change it will be. But it’s a life change that will make you happier, healthier, and more free. Read on to find out the five things you need to know before entering an addiction recovery program:
1. Focus on yourself
This is time for you to focus on you, and recovery is a full-time job. Don’t worry about everyone else. Working toward recovery takes all of your energy and effort. You don’t have the capacity to worry about how anyone else is doing. That may sound selfish, but it’s not. Family and friends that support you will want the best for you and will know that focusing on your recovery is the best thing you can do—for them and for you.
2. Your case manager and/or counselor can help you apply for family leave
You may be eligible for up to 12 weeks of leave from employment, and your counselor should be able to guide you through the process of applying. If you’re eligible, taking approved family leave is a great way to leave work behind without worrying what you’re going to do after treatment, and gives you one less thing to worry about during your program.
3. Don’t get caught up on how long you will be away
Really, in terms of your health and recovery, the longer you’re away from “normal life” and at a recovery program, the better. A change as big as recovery takes time. That’s not to say that being away from home won’t be hard, but it will be worth it. The amount of time you’ll be away is something to acknowledge as you make a decision to work toward recovery, but is not an issue to fixate on. If you’re ready to put addiction behind you, the longer you’re in a program, the better—you’ll build deeper relationships with doctors, mentors, and new peers; you’ll learn new habits and skills; and you’ll be in a much better position when you leave your program.
4. This is not the end—it’s the beginning
Recovery is a big life change, and it might seem like the end of life as you know it. That’s understandable; you’ll have to leave some things behind, like possessions, relationships, or maybe a whole lifestyle—and it’s important to recognize and mourn that if you need to. But more than anything else, recovery is a beginning—a start of a whole world of new freedoms and opportunities.
5. This is not the place to find a mate
As we said before, recovery is your time to focus on you. It’s not uncommon to find someone in an addiction-recovery program, but it’s never a good idea. More likely than not, starting a new relationship while in recovery will end up harming the recovery of one or both parties.
Supportive friendships are important, but no one in a recovery program is in a healthy position to find a partner. Recovery from addiction takes everything you have, and starting a new relationship—no matter how much you may think it will help—will just distract you from the real work that needs to be done.
It may not be easy, but it will be worth it. Make sure you understand the facts of addiction recovery before you make the decision to go, but know that no matter what, recovery will lead you to a life with more freedom and more opportunities.
If you have any questions or want to get started on the path to sobriety, please call us at Center For Healing 888–500–9279.
Erica Franco Mortimer, MA, LPC, LCADC
Founder and CEO
Center for Healing
Erica is a licensed therapist with over twenty-years experience in mental health. Erica offers practical and straight forward advice to those struggling with addiction and their families. Having deep insight and understanding of addiction, Erica is able to offer guidance to those looking to regain control of their lives.