Deciding to get treatment for your addiction is something to be extremely proud of. That decision is so difficult, but know that in choosing to get help, you have also decided to truly care for yourself. Big changes are coming your way, and this is a very good, exciting time in your life. However, much like other big life changes, you may be experiencing some troubling feelings.
The time between making the decision to get treatment and entering into a treatment facility may come with many different, contrasting feelings. Perhaps you are excited to finally begin freeing yourself from addiction. Maybe you feel nervous about experiencing something completely new and foreign from anything you have ever gone through thus far in your life. You could be also scared about not knowing what to expect. Or maybe you just feel antsy to get the process going rather than waiting. How do you manage this awkward period in time without turning to drugs and/or alcohol?
Do Some Research
A good way to both fill your schedule and be prepared for your time in treatment is to contact your treatment facility and find out what you may need to bring or prepare ahead of time. If you are entering an in-patient facility, maybe you need to pack clothes or other basic necessities such as soap, a toothbrush/toothpaste, and a blanket and pillow. Or maybe you need to purchase things such as a notebook and a pen or pencil to take notes and practice journal work.
In an outpatient program maybe you need to spend some time doing some rescheduling. Many out-patient programs take up 3-5 hours of the day and can vary from 3-5 days per week. For many people, this is a huge lifestyle change. If you have a family, maybe you need to help figure out how to ensure that they get their needs met while you are away. Perhaps you need to plan with your employer about how many hours you can or cannot work while in treatment. Doing this planning ahead of time can make you feel more secure and prepared while moving forward along this journey.
Try Some New Activities
If you are particularly anxious about this transition, maybe try beginning new activities or hobbies. By doing so, you can take your mind off the nerves and anxiety while also staying in the present moment and begin having fun within the present moment. Some potential activities could include:
- taking a walk
- playing sports
- reading a book
- listening to podcasts
- having a dance party by yourself
- cooking something new
- sitting in nature
- swimming in pools
- traveling to new places
- playing with cats or dogs
There are many more activities you could try during this time. Whatever you choose to do, as long as it is enjoyable for you, keeps you in the present moment, and avoids using drugs and/or alcohol, then it is a good option to try. You are allowed to take your mind off these intimidating topics and make time to have fun during these moments.
It is common during this time to have doubts. Perhaps you find yourself contemplating no longer wishing to attend treatment out of doubt and fear. In moments like these, it is both important and helpful to have supportive loved ones around to lean on and confide in. These people can offer a listening ear and validate how scary this time may be for you. They can also remind you of why you wanted to make this decision in the first place. They can help to be your guide when your brain becomes clouded with doubtful thoughts.
Supportive loved ones can also help you get your mind off of the nerves you may be experiencing. By being aware of what you may be experiencing, loved ones can be there for you by offering a safe escape from what may be going on in your head. Something as simple as having a face-to-face conversation with someone you love and admire can help to shift your focus and feel comforted during this time. Maybe watching your favorite movie together with a loved one can help you to feel relief. These instances can serve as a reminder that you are not alone, and that living a sober life is fun and fulfilling.
No one seems to mention how difficult it can be during the gap between deciding to enter a treatment facility and physically attending the treatment facility. However, there are things you can do to help you relax and be prepared for what is to come. During this time, you can prepare ahead for your attendance by researching more about the treatment facility. You may need to prepare by bringing certain items or rearranging your reschedule to be able to prioritize your sobriety. Spending time trying new activities on your own time can help to ease your potential anxiety and stay present moment during times when you may feel anxious about this transition. Seeking support from loved ones can offer much-needed assurance and comfort during this confusing time as well. This transition is full of confusing feelings, and at Rickard Elmore Treatment Strategies, we want to help give you the information you need to help you feel prepared and secure upon your arrival. Call our Newport Beach, California-based facility today at (877) 387-7197 to learn more about what you should be prepared for at our program.