If you are heading into rehab for the very first time, let me give you some advice, and a sense of where to set your expectations over the next 30-90 days.
First off, I’d like to congratulate you; not only are you about to embark upon what is essentially an extended vacation, but it’s actually good for you; body, mind and soul! Like an ice cream cake made out of broccolini!
You may think I’m being funny, but I’m actually quite serious; while there are plenty of things about rehab that are challenging, what it is not about is adding to your woes, stress level, or general level of misery. You are there to find a deeper level of happiness. So kick back, put your feet up, and enjoy yourself.
The challenging “work” of rehab will be in the form of talk; specifically, talking about your feelings. If getting mushy isn’t your cup of tea, you have my sympathies. However, I am very, VERY certain it will be good for you (yes, you, in particular) to get comfortable talking about your feelings.
It is a skill you will find incredibly useful as you re-enter life after rehab, and develop rich social, romantic and familial relationships which will inevitably require conflict resolution through emotional discussions (precisely like those you practice in therapy groups at rehab).
What else about rehab is challenging? Well, you can say goodbye to your privacy. For me, however, this was a plus; the lifestyle in which I’d found myself before I entered rehab was one of abject isolation and I was all too happy to eat, sleep and do pretty much everything else in the company of others.
If the rehab you are headed to is a good rehab, then you are about to experience a high level of structure. If prior to entering rehab, you were living on your own and were the master of your own fate, this may require a considerable degree of adjustment. There is no easy fix to this, and the only advice I can offer you is to not be a dick about it.
The temptation to be a dick about it will be great. Don’t succumb to it. As you mature, you will look back on your experiences being a dick about it and cringe.
Here is my last piece of advice. It is not particularly unique or enlightening, but it is good advice. It is this: listen carefully and think things through. Don’t rush to judgements.
Over the next 30-90 days, you are going to hear a great many people tell you their opinions and ideas. You will not agree with all of them. Deciding which opinions and ideas you agree with and which you disagree with will form the basis of your spiritual and psychological outlook moving forward. Don’t bail before it’s all had time to settle inside of yourself.
Alright, you’re ready to go to rehab! Have a blast, you rascal!