As scary as it was to check into rehab, it was probably a hundred times scarier checking out.
In rehab, I was surrounded by people who wanted to help people who were going through a similar experience and me. I could be my most authentic self. I had ripped myself open in front of my therapist and in front of my group time and time again. I felt different and way better, but I also felt raw, like a delicate newborn baby. How was I supposed to go out into the world? There was alcohol out there, and hardships, and other people who wouldn’t understand me the way the people in rehab did.
It was only yesterday that I checked out of rehab. My therapist and I discussed my fears, and she assured me that it was perfectly natural to be wary of returning to the environment that had allowed me to slide into addiction in the first place. She warned me it would be hard, and we came up with several plans to help me maintain my sobriety.
This blog is part of it. Writing is another therapeutic creative outlet I discovered in rehab, and writing about my experience will hopefully help others in the same situation. It also helps me be more aware of my emotions and reminds me of the lessons I learned in treatment.
I am also attending my first AA meeting tonight. I am going with another former patient from the rehab center that was in group therapy with me. He completed his treatment before I did, and promised to take me to meetings when I got out.
As part of the 12 steps, I need to apologize to the people I have hurt from my drinking. This includes my ex-wife. Even though I don’t think I have a chance of getting her back, I still need to tell her how sorry I am that I let her down during such a dark time and that I know now how harmful my behavior was.
I cleaned all alcohol out of my home and was surprised that I wasn’t tempted at all to drink it. I would have crazy cravings and that even seeing the bottles would set me off, but I felt relieved when I threw the last one into the dumpster.
My name is Max, and I’m an alcoholic. But I’m a recovering alcoholic and am proud of the 31 days of sobriety I have under my belt. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, please get help. Rehab is hard, but it was the best thing I’ve ever done for myself, and probably saved my life.
Keep reading for some frequently asked questions about alcohol abuse.