When I went to drug rehab for the first time I was merely expecting to learn how to not do drugs. I had no idea that drug rehab was going to consist of something more than just facing my drug addiction. Don’t get me wrong, facing my drug addiction was a big deal, no doubt, but I also learned a lot of things about myself. Some of these things I learned made me seriously uncomfortable and others were exciting and profound! Regardless of what they were they helped me to build a foundation for my recovery and I still carry many of these surprising things I learned in drug rehab with me today.
Here are 5 (surprising) things I learned in drug rehab:
- How to grocery shop: I am not sure about anyone else, but I didn’t do much grocery shopping in my addiction. And if I did do any grocery shopping I was making a bee line for the ice cream section for my daily recommended serving of sugar in a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia; that or the beer section. What I learned in drug rehab was how to manage a specific amount of money and to plan meals ahead of time for when I went grocery shopping. Needless to say in drug rehab my eating habits weren’t much better than they were before (you would still see Cherry Garcia in my cart but that wouldn’t be the only thing in there), that has taken some time, but I learned how to make a list, manage money, and get foods to actually make meals and eat for a week.
- How to not hate women: I know that sounds harsh but the truth was I didn’t like women. I thought women were catty and mean. I felt as if women were always out to screw me over. So simply put, in drug rehab I hated women initially. What I learned in drug rehab was that I didn’t hate women; I hated myself as a woman. It wasn’t the fact that these women were catty; it was the fact that I was catty. It wasn’t that they were mean; I was mean. What I knew I was capable of, I thought other women were capable of too. What I learned in drug rehab was how to not hate women and therefore no longer hate myself.
- How to do things I didn’t really want to do: As an addict, I am very impulsive and driven by feelings and emotions. When I didn’t feel like doing something in drug rehab I would just not do it. For instance, making my bed? Nope, not going to happen. What I learned in drug rehab was that sometimes in life you have to do things you don’t really feel like doing because they are the right thing to do. Through doing things I didn’t want to do what I truly learned in drug rehab was discipline and perseverance.
- How selfish I really was: I definitely wasn’t in denial about the times when I was being selfish but I had never realized that really my entire existence up into the point I became aware of it, was selfish. What I learned in drug rehab was that I was on borrowed time. That I am already given way too much by being allowed to live life and even go to rehab! For me, my drug use should have ended in a prison sentence or death; to be in rehab and still alive was more than I could ask for. But there I was, obviously still alive and getting sober for a reason. And all I could think about was my problems, what I needed and what I wanted and how unhappy I was. How selfish, right? When I learned how selfish I was in drug rehab my life started changing drastically.
- That drug rehab won’t keep me sober: This seems contradictory I know. But what I learned in drug rehab is that drug rehab can’t keep me sober. Drug rehab can teach me many things and those things I can carry with me but it won’t keep me sober. I need a working and ever present program of action, and once I leave drug rehab it no longer gives me that. Luckily, most drug rehabs teach you that drug rehab can’t keep you sober and they give you a solution for that; they recommend a 12 step fellowship. My drug rehab offered 12 step meetings every night because they knew that drug rehab was going to end, and I was going to have to continue on with something. The 12 step fellowship I have is in AA and it is the reason I have managed to stay in sobriety and I learned that in drug rehab.
Everyone learns different things in drug rehab. What I know is that I learned exactly what I needed to know at the time and that I still carry these things with me. I go grocery shopping and I am not surviving on Ben and Jerry’s, I don’t hate women, I do things I don’t really feel like doing every (like working out), I try to practice selflessness so I am not so selfish, and I have another way to sober other than drug rehab. I wasn’t expecting to learn these things in drug rehab, but I am so glad I did.
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