The Benefits Of Extended Treatment And Sober Living Environments After Rehab - For The Family
Updated: Nov 13, 2019
"I spent the majority of my late teens and twenties trying to get sober. Sometimes my efforts were half-ass and sometimes I was actually trying. I have made attempts at almost every method of recovery – narcanon, suboxone, methadone maintenance, outpatient, inpatient, AA, NA, HA, SMART Recovery, church, yoga, willpower."
– I have exhausted them all!!!
Extended Treatment Saved My Family From Addiction And Gave Me The Gift Of Time
I would go into a recovery center, spend a couple of months trying to get clean and then go right back out. I had a tendency to quickly disregard and overlook the relapse prevention plans my therapists and I would come up with and relapse within a couple of months.
Most of the time when I was in treatment, I was just doing my time while making plans to use again.
One of the treatment centers I went to recommended me to a halfway house in Florida and I was able to get six months clean before relapsing. This was the longest amount of sobriety I had been able to get before going to extended treatment. My relapses were always planned and deliberate, a calculated return to using. Learning about my triggers and focusing on relapse prevention was of no value because I knew I would be set free eventually and I was unwilling to do the work it took to feel better in such a short period of time.
To my dismay, my parents had been introduced to the idea of long-term treatment early on. They had a hard time wrapping their heads around the idea of sending me away any longer than 3 months. Anything more than that seemed drastic and unnecessary and this mindset kept us all very sick.
When my parents finally started to recognize the severity of my , they became willing to do whatever it took to see me get better. I thought they would never agree to long-term treatment but to my surprise they finally started to embrace the idea of sending me away for a very, very long time. My dad had already lost two children and couldn’t come to terms with the idea of losing another. I think that their grief helped them get on board and I also think they were just very, very tired of my shit!
It took an army to get me into the doors of extended treatment and I was NOT happy for a long time. I was a miserable person to be around for the first few months of treatment and everyday seemed to be longer and more dreadful than the day before. I felt uncomfortable in my skin, had to do weekly chores, couldn’t drive a car, couldn’t talk to members of the opposite sex or my family, didn’t have my cellphone or access to social media and I even had a bedtime.
"I was instructed to pray, read the big book and talk to my sponsor regularly. This was bullshit..."
My sponsor let me wallow in self-pity for a little while and then told me I either needed to pull myself together and find some gratitude or leave. Somewhere along the lines I decided to change my attitude to see if I could possibly find some acceptance and as a result, I started experiencing relief. My attitude towards my surroundings began to slowly but genuinely shift, and things started to become easier. I found gratitude for being in a safe place with women that loved me unconditionally. I was removed from society, so I didn’t have to worry about falling short of unrealistic expectations that I had been putting on myself. The people around me chipped away at this tough exterior and helped me become teachable and loveable.
One of the greatest things that extended treatment gave me was time.
Having time on my side positively impacted so many aspects of my life.
I was always quick to apologize after getting out of a 30-day treatment center but this time I had to sit still and absorb the pain and destruction I had created. Therefore, wasn’t allowed to make inauthentic apologies which had always been my attempt to get people to forget or overlook what I had done and move on.
I had time to figure out how to get through each season sober, which did a lot for me. This allowed me the experience in a safe setting to recognized what holidays and times of year were triggers for me and saw that I was able to get through them and actually feel okay without the booze and dope to provide comfort.
I got the chance to work through my insecurities and my apprehensions.
I learned how to be consistent, how to show up and how to follow through.
I also got the chance to spend some time to think about what I wanted to do with my life.
In the past, I would go to treatment, but all of my plans afterwards were very temporary and there was no plan for my life besides trying to stay sober.
I think that people need to find something to live for instead of learning how to just exist. Finding this gives sobriety meaning and purpose, a reason to stay sober. Being in treatment for fifteen months gave me the time to discover what I wanted to make of my future, put a plan in place and start taking the necessary steps to make it come to fruition.
When I had setbacks, I had a safe place to work them out and I was able to continue to push forward and demonstrate resiliency. I was surrounded by love and support which was coupled with accountability. I had a safe place to return to school and start out slowly. I was finally able to create a solid foundation.
One of the most important things about extended treatment was not necessarily what it did for me, but what it did for my family.
They got the chance to begin the healing process and to finally get some rest because they knew I was safe. I had been holding them hostage since I was a teenager and they no longer had to worry about who the next phone call was going to be from and what situation they were going to have to bail me out of.
Extended treatment gave me time to begin to trust me again and to get their lives back. Extended treatment was not easy. It gave my family the chance to come together and get to know one another again. Extended treatment was not easy, and I wanted to leave numerous times but a power greater than myself helped me stay put and listen long enough to discover a solution. I am forever grateful for what extended treatment did for me.
Copyrighted© 2019 ARCH Recovery all rights reserved. https://www.archrecovery.org