In some ways, rehab is easy: you don’t have to cook for yourself, you don’t have to do any cleaning, there is always someone around to talk to (read: vent at) and your day is planned out for you.
Both staff and clients are extremely supportive, there are enough positive sayings and affirmations and hugs to make you feel good about yourself no matter how shitty you feel, and you are encouraged to ignore the outside world as much as possible.
But that’s because in many ways, rehab is extremely challenging. At least, it is if you take it seriously and actually want to get better.
It may not sound like a difficult thing to talk about your feelings, or write your life story, or examine how and why you abused a substance or to sit and listen to other people’s stories…but it is.
Examining why you ended up in rehab, really examining it, is emotionally draining.
For me, it dredges up all the uncomfortable feelings I numbed away with alcohol. It forces me to acknowledge the shitty things I’ve done to the people I love. It is all of my failures, my lack of self-esteem, my fears, my sadness and my hurt lying bare in front of me with no comfort other than hugs and affirmations to ease the pain.
Those are nice, but not nearly as potent as vodka.
What will ease the pain is taking that pile of shit and getting rid of it, which requires a complete and total inner transformation; rewiring my brain to accept things I never used to believe were true. Things like: I deserve love. I am allowed to pursue my dreams. I am good enough just the way I am (minus the drinking bit).
Again, sounds easy right? Well if it were, Oprah wouldn’t nearly so popular now would she. Finding happiness means inner change.
Inner change is not easy, but it is doable.
Thankfully, I am starting to see small changes happening, and for that I am extremely grateful.
Somehow, I don’t think it’s an accident that the one little corner shop we are allowed to visit (supervised of course) just happens to sell Transformer masks. I am not sure what made me look at the toy section on our latest outing, but there it was.
Naturally, I bought one, because it’s a great symbolic representation of the work I’ve done, and will continue to do.
And although I am working hard on making changes, one thing I definitely do not want to change is my wacky sense of humour, and it is absolutely fucking hilarious to wear it when it comes time to pick up my meds.
Ah, those poor staff members. I wonder if they’ll be reviewing my dosage…