7 Things Every Woman Thinks on Her First Day of Rehab
Going to rehab for the first time can be a scary experience; in fact, most people would say that they were frightened by the idea of rehab and to actually be going into treatment. That was certainly my experience. The best way to describe my first day at rehab was oscillating between fear – of the unknown – and relief. Here are 7 things every woman thinks on her first day of rehab.
#1. Do I belong here? Am I doing the right thing?
As you know, it’s inevitable that women like us – addicts and alcoholics – are destined to end up in jails and institutions, if we’re lucky; death, if we’re not so lucky. So, like many others, I landed in a psych ward at one time in my active addiction. And you can best believe, I manipulated my way out of there as soon as possible. I say this because my first day of rehab, I saw an older woman, shuffling down the hall with the aid of a nurse or some other staff person. I got flashbacks of the psych ward and right away, I thought, “Oh God, where am I? Where have I checked into? Do I belong here?
#2. I definitely belong here.
Then, once I heard the other women share about how they had always felt – having that void inside – and how they used and why they used, I knew I was exactly where I needed to be. I had been aware of that inner void feeling for so long and I even knew what it was: a lack of inner peace and happiness. And I spent years trying to fill that void with external things that I thought would finally bring me that peace. Whether it was drugs, relationships, sex, jobs, etc.
#3. Thirty days seems like such a long time to be here.
Really, in the scheme of things, 30 days is a mere drop in the bucket when you compare it to a lifetime. But, on the first day of rehab, I felt like that was such a long time to be in treatment. It was definitely going to take some acclimating.
#4. What’s going to happen? What’s treatment like?
As with anything else, there’s definitely an uneasiness and fear of not knowing what to expect in rehab. On your first day of rehab, you may find yourself constantly wondering, “What’s next?” Honestly, the first day is mostly about formalities: first you meet with an intake specialist who talks to you about your drug history. Then there’s the drug screen, being taken to your room, and being shown around. You will meet with various people who are directly involved with your treatment, such as your therapist, psychiatrist, medical doctor, and case manager.
#5. Will I be the most screwed up person there?
Much like what I described in #2, you might go to your first day of rehab thinking that no one else is as “bad off” as you or that you won’t be able to identify with anyone. You will find, as I did, that everyone in rehab is exactly where they need to be. And this is a comfort, really.
#6. Can I do this?
Fearing the unknown, wondering if you belong, and feeling like 30 days is so far away will no doubt have you thinking, “Can I really do this?” And I can tell you that you really can do it. It’s scary, no doubt but, having a healthy fear is just that: healthy. Trust, surrender, and be open to learning and following suggestions. That’s what helped me.
#7. Thank God for this place.
Knowing that you never have to live like you were and that you’ll never have to drink or use again is like having a weight removed from your shoulders. On my first day of rehab, I remember being so relieved knowing that I was in a safe place with people who could help me.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-777-9588.