After I checked into a rehabilitation facility that accepted my insurance, the first step of my recovery was detoxification from alcohol.
This was by far one of the most difficult and physically challenging things I’ve ever gone through. Apparently, a lot of addicts try to detox from substances at home, because they think it will be more comfortable, or they don’t have the resources to clear their schedules to enter in-patient treatment. I understand why people think it would be better to detox at home, but now having experienced it, I can’t imagine getting through that initial phase without the full-time help of the treatment center.
My memories of those first few days are kind of foggy, but I can tell you that it was some of the worst pain I’ve ever experienced. It felt kind of like the flu, but much, much worse. I’m certain that if I had tried to detox at home, I would have given in to my body’s cravings and drank. Being in a treatment facility took that option away from me, and forced me to get through the dark detox period.
It had been so long since I’d gone without drinking that my body completely freaked out. I was sweaty, nauseous, shaky, and had hot and cold flashes. My whole body ached, and I was extremely anxious and exhausted.
The rehab facility also made detox much more comfortable than I would have been able to at home. In rehab, I didn’t have to worry about preparing my own meals. The center brought all my meals to my room those first few days and made sure I was eating. I also had an IV of fluids and vitamins that helped tremendously. And what is more important – they didn’t let me drink alcohol haha.
The staff was caring and friendly and made me feel safe. They would hand me a bucket and rub my back when I needed to throw up during detox. Everyone was kind and encouraging. It reminded me of when I would stay home sick from school when I was a kid, and my mom would feed me popsicles and stroke my hair and take care of me. It was very comforting just knowing someone was there if I needed help.
My intention with this description of my detox is not to scare anyone off from doing it. It is totally doable, but in my opinion, it’s much more comfortable with the help of an in-patient treatment facility. They have the knowledge and resources to make your detox as comfortable as possible, and, perhaps more importantly, you don’t have to rely on your own willpower to get through it, like you would at home.
Once my system was clean, the real work could begin in therapy. Keep reading to learn about my experience in individual counseling.