Entering recovery for the first time often feels like being the new kid at school. You may notice right away that people in your treatment program use specific language to describe their mental health conditions in a non-judgmental way. You’ll also need to get used to following the program’s schedule for attending individual and group counseling sessions.
While there is a brief learning curve to entering recovery, the good news is that there are friendly faces there to help you every step of the way. In fact, you’ll even notice that being on a first-name basis from the very beginning makes everyone feel like an old friend. Talking about what it is like to be new in recovery helps you prepare for the many high’s and low’s that you’ll experience as you begin building a healthier lifestyle. It may help to remember that everyone was new in recovery at some point.
In fact, many members of your treatment team might have gone through recovery before they took their positions. The majority of the people that you meet will know exactly what you are going through because they’ve either been there as well or helped someone who has. Feeling that awareness and sense of support is freeing when you’ve been hiding your addiction for so long. You’ll also notice that these key things happen during your early days of recovery, and each one brings you closer to being that experienced old-timer that everyone leans on for advice.
Get Support for Making It Through the Toughest First Days
Most people feel a little sick during their first couple days of recovery. You might already have an idea of what your withdrawal symptoms might be like if you’ve had to go without drugs or alcohol for a few days. Or, you might be terrified of what you’ve heard other people went through. If so, then you can rest assured that you won’t go through any of this alone. Your treatment team even has strategies to help you feel better if you get physically sick or emotionally uncomfortable.
You might also feel a little shaky about opening up to other people about your problems. Feeling emotionally vulnerable is normal, and it is all part of the process of learning how to manage your challenges. People with addictions sometimes take on too much themselves, and you might have felt pressured to hide your emotions from the people in your life. During the first few days in treatment, you’ll start to overcome your reservations about sharing deeper emotions with other people. While opening up may feel weird at first, it won’t be long before you are actively seeking out support because it feels so good to have someone to talk to about your problems.
Look Forward to Discovering New Parts of Yourself
If you’ve been using drugs or drinking heavily for a long time, you may have forgotten about what you enjoyed doing before you started falling into your addiction. Your early days in addiction treatment also involve doing things that help you to rediscover who you are and what makes you happy. You’ll start an exercise program in rehab that helps you to relax and start getting your body back into better shape. You also get the chance to engage in recreational activities that are pure fun.
Being new in recovery sometimes feels like each new day is a surprise since you can explore untapped talents. You might pick up a set of paints and give landscape painting a try. Or, you might enjoy learning to play a musical instrument with your new sober friends. You could even start a band or a blog. As you discover new aspects of your personality, you’ll also find that your self-esteem starts to rise.
Feel the Excitement of Planning a Bright Future
There’s a lot of decisions that you have to make in early recovery. You might need to decide if you can continue living in the same house or neighborhood. You may also need to find a job or switch to a new career. Although all of this decision-making can feel daunting at times, you’ll also notice that you feel a sense of hope and excitement about being able to take charge of your future. There’s also something amazing about knowing that you can actually carry out your plans since you won’t be dragged down by your addiction anymore. Are you ready to embrace being the new person in addiction treatment? If so, we’ve got just the right place for you to go to get support. Give us a call today at 302-842-2390.