So you’ve come to the decision that you need help with your addiction and are preparing to leave for treatment. Congratulations! You’ve already defeated one of the hardest challenges of getting sober; you’ve admitted that you need help. You’ve already picked out a treatment center or detox location, if you need one. You might find yourself asking questions like, what’s next? How do I prepare? Am I going to be safe? How am I going to get through this?
Calm your fears and take everything one-step at a time. Use these few helpful tidbits to prepare yourself and suitcase before you leave to get sober:
• Don’t pack like you are headed for vacation. Pack comfortable clothes that you will feel relaxed wearing multiple times. You won’t need to dress to impress so don’t worry about designer jeans or jewelry. Also, know that a lot of place won’t allow clothing with string, belts or shoelaces. Find this out ahead of time and pack accordingly.
• Write down contact information of family or immediate support. You likely won’t be allowed to have your cell phone on hand but there will be phones. Make sure to have a copy of phone numbers of the people who make you smile to use as needed.
• Learn to love literature. Pick out some books that interest you and bring them with you. You’ll likely have a lot down time to yourself and books are a great way to escape some of the seriousness of recovery. Self help books may be great while in treatment but try to keep your reading material light and enjoyably relevant to your interests. Avoid any material that glamourizes use, sex and violence.
• Take a pen and notebook….and use both! Write down your feelings and thoughts as often as possible. Write down what hurts, your fears, what’s happened in the past or each day. The notes you make now will be instrumental in your recovery moving forward.
• Don’t over-think anything and stay focused on your immediate tasks at hand – Recovery and Staying Sober. Your new responsibility and first priority is to stay sober. Leave your fears and worries about your home life, job or finances at the door. Focus on your new goal of sobriety now and you’ll work the rest out later. You’re on an express train to being given a lot of suggestions, recommendations and information about addiction and recovery. So, just keep an open mind.
So as you’re about to leave, The Hope Center wishes you success your journey. The road to Recovery is not easy but will set you free from your addiction and lead you to a new way of thinking, a new life and new happiness.
What questions do you have about leaving for recovery? What are your thoughts?