When you show up to your treatment center, whether it be inpatient rehab or outpatient rehab, you have a chemical dependency. You could also have a mental illness. The reality is that the addiction treatment process is tough. The amount of changes that will happen in your life in a short time is huge. Through your health treatments and counseling sessions, you’ll realize that things can become very overwhelming. Luckily, you’re never alone when going through alcohol rehab. In fact, you’ll be able to form a special bond with a really good support system. You’ll be able to interact with other recovering addicts in alcoholics anonymous. You’ll also have an abuse counselor. Aside from having a bachelor’s degree, abuse counselors are the kindest people. They’re empathetic and they know their stuff. Take advantage of this special bond you are able to form. Here are a few things to remember as you get to know your addiction counselor.
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Substance Abusers Isolate Themselves- Don’t Do That!
It is very common when you have mental health issues to isolate yourself from the people who want to help you. It seems easier to do that than talk about feelings. This is especially true when you’re struggling with alcoholism or drug addiction.You’re prone to thinking that everyone is against you, or that they look down on your actions.
Remember that addiction is a mental illness. With mental illness often comes some anxiety. You’re scared to feel judged and reprimanded for addiction treatment. You’re scared of the things you might have to face as you go through a counseling session. This is normal and valid, especially with how much you’ve been going through. But, when you feel this way, keep one thing in mind. Alcohol rehab is a place to feel safe. Alcohol counseling especially is designed so that you have a best friend. Being able to talk about feelings in a key part of abuse treatment. Your counselor wants to see you do well. They want to be there for you. They’re not there to give you a lecture on how horrible you are. They’re not there to make you feel uncomfortable by your troubles. They are a safe set of ears for you to talk to. They don’t want you to isolate yourself or they don’t get to do their job or make a new friend. Leave your comfort zone. Substance abuse treatment exists to ease the anxiety that you’re feeling.
Substance abuse counseling goes past preventing alcohol abuse. It will also provide you with someone that will always be there for you. If you’re in outpatient treatment and don’t get to see your addiction counselor as often, you can always call them just to chat. They can give you advice about whatever you’re struggling with. Substance abusers often have a really hard time in their first few months of sober living. Recovery is an uphill battle and if you feel lonely, you should always have someone you know you can call. Even though it’s not comfortable to talk about your feelings all the time, you have someone ready to listen when you need them to. Most of the time, you won’t even be talking directly about addiction. You’ll delve into the causes of your addiction. You’ll talk about family, friends, and relationships. When things get hard and you need to sort them out, your counselor can make thoughtful suggestions that will help.
Alcoholism treatment won’t always feel like it’s getting progressively easier. You’re going to have amazing days and you’re going to have awful ones. There are so many things you’re going to have to confront. There are going to be health treatments for your withdrawals that will make you grumpy and tired. From the alcohol addiction itself to the deeper issues of why you drink, you’ll realize eventually that support is not an option but a requirement. You’re going to need that one-on-one bond with your addiction counselor to really feed your mind positivity. You’re going to need people to help you. Alcohol rehab is about building deeper connections within yourself but also with others. Getting through recovery alone is nearly impossible. Do not shut someone out just because they want to help you point out the lifestyle changes you need to make. Do not shut someone out because you are scared. Counseling careers are shaped around helping others. Your addiction counselor will be a kind, honest and helpful person who has gone to school to learn how to help you. Do not pass that up.
Abuse Counselors Understand More Than You Think They Do
Another common idea in those with mental health and substance abuse issues is that the people in their treatment facility will not understand them. They think that their situation is so unique that no one could possibly advise them on what exactly they need to do. This is a huge misconception. The best thing about recovery centers is that lots of the employees have been addicts themselves. While this isn’t always the case, it’s extremely common. That being said, it’s possible that your addiction counselor at some point in their life was struggling with alcoholism. They understand what it’s like to lose grasp of your coping skills. They understand chemical dependency. They understand how YOU feel. Do not miss out on getting help from a really knowledgeable person because you assume they won’t get it.
Instead of looking at them as someone who is overpowering your life, see them as a peer. They’re there to help you because they have a deep understanding of your pain. They understand where you’re at because they too, are addicts and have been through what your’re going through.
Alcohol counseling, in particular, is special because alcohol addiction has been prevalent for centuries. With this in mind, think about how much research there is out there for your addiction counselor to study up on. There is so much information available for addiction counselors to understand the way a substance abuser’s brain thinks. Because of this, your substance abuse counselor will know more about your addiction than you think.
Drug addictions are psychological attachments. Alcoholism is a psychological attachment. Your counselor is there to understand these attachments. They can teach you things about yourself that you don’t even know. They may seem all sunshine and rainbows and like they don’t know the darker side of addiction. But, think again. They know what you’re struggling with and even if they can’t relate fully, they empathize and advise in a way that makes you feel stronger.
Treatment Centers Encourage Friendship Beyond Treatment
The best thing about your alcohol addiction counselor is that they become a great friend. You spend so much time with them in such a vulnerable state, so you both get to know each other well. This is not a friendship that will just end after you leave your treatment facility. You’ll need and want to maintain communication after abuse treatment. Your connection will be very deep and genuine. Many people who have gone through alcohol abuse treatment have expressed so much love and gratitude for their counselor.
When you’re going through such a serious time, you’re going to end up really close with your counselor whether you want to or not. They’re going to know you so well after hearing so much personal information. They’ll understand your strengths and weaknesses. They’ll understand the way your addiction formed and the things that trigger you to use. They’ll probably even learn something about their own mental health through their counseling of yours. You’ll get to know them too, and learn something from the differences in your personalities. This is a healthy and strong friendship. Any friendship that makes you want to be a better person is something that you should appreciate and hold on to.
Be sure to continue support, open communication and appreciation for your abuse counselor when you’re in sober living. Update them every so often and let them know how you’re doing. Ask how they’re doing. Ask how their new friends are that are going through the same treatment center you did.
After abuse treatment, a counselor sending an addict into sober living is like a mother saying goodbye to their child going to college. They’re going to worry a little bit about you. They’re going to want to check in and they’re going to want you to check in. To ease their stress and your own, it’s key that you are honest with your counselor. No matter what treatment program you do, even if you relapse, take advantage of having someone there to advise you. Tell them what happened. Ask them for guidance. They want you to succeed. They can help you find a different treatment program, or even just be there for you if you decide to quit cold turkey from home. They can even just distract you if you’re feeling tempted to use.
All in all, remember that feeling alone is a dangerous thing for substance abusers. This loneliness can lead to relapse. There is always someone there to listen to you when you’re feeling low. There is always a way to cool off. You always have your counselor to advise you on important health care and financial decisions. They will always be there to lead you towards choices that impact your life for the better. Let yourself grow close to them. This will prevent relapse and give you someone to laugh with. Friendship is a beautiful thing. Recovery is beautiful too. But, recovery becomes more fluid and tangible when there is a friend to help you along the way. This way, you’re never alone and you’re always able to grow.
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