What Is It like to Go to a Treatment Center for the First Time?

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It takes real courage to admit that you can’t stop drinking or using on your own. It requires us to overcome a lot of fear to pick up the phone and call someone who can help. Every step of the way is unknown and surrounded by anxiety.

While we may never know quite what we’re walking into when we go to recovery for the first time, many others know it well and have so many positive outcomes from taking that first, huge step. Below is one person’s anonymous account of what her 30-day program was like.

  • I had truly hit bottom and admitted that I needed help to stop drinking. I could not stop on my own. I had tried. Many times. Going into a 30-day treatment center seemed like a very drastic measure but I was willing to do whatever it took to end the insanity of my alcoholism and drug addiction.
  • The first few days of detoxing were a blur. I could barely eat or sleep. I was given medication to prevent delirium tremens, which helped to calm my anxiety, as well. But, now I was informed that the medication was only temporary and that I was well enough now to participate in groups and therapy.
  • I remember feeling like I was dying of exposure in those first days of “coming to.” I hadn’t talked about my feelings for a very long time. At least, not sober. Sure, I had cried to friends and relatives about how horrible my life was but now I was being asked to do something about it.
  • We had “in-house” AA and NA meetings and it had been suggested to me that I get phone numbers from other women. I was shy about talking to women in sobriety. I guess, deep down, I was afraid of rejection. I felt like that little girl on the playground again; lonely and looking for a new best friend. My substance counselor had told me to “stick with the winners.” So I listened carefully during meetings. I heard a woman sharing a story that was strikingly similar to my own. She had been clean and sober for 10 years. After the meeting, I waited in line to thank her for her share. I was very nervous but I asked her for her phone number.
  • The next day, I felt like it was too soon to call her. It felt like I was asking her out on a date or something! But, I worked up the courage to call and asked her to be my sponsor. And, she said yes! She said that she would sponsor me but that I would be required to work the steps with her. I agreed. And, I have never regretted that decision.
  • Even though I had the skills to act like an adult, I felt like acting out like a 13-year-old. And, rather than giving in to the temptation to act like a rebellious and obstinate teenager, I began following the rules at my treatment center. I formed some bonds with my counselors that I still treasure to this day. I am still in contact with them and am eternally grateful to them for sharing their knowledge and wisdom with me. Their voices still guide me.
  • I also invited a couple of old friends of mine, who were not alcoholics, to visit me in treatment. I was very surprised when they both said yes! I was able to make amends to them for how absent I had been in their lives, too. We are very close again and I am so grateful they found it in their hearts to forgive me.
  • In a mere 30 days, I had gained so much. I am so glad I chose to go to treatment and embrace recovery. And, so grateful for the healthy relationships I built while I was there!

If you are struggling to find the courage to ask for help, let us help you. Our compassionate and caring staff knows exactly how that feels because we’ve been there. We know how hard it is to pick up that phone and call. Rest assured that when you call us, someone will answer the phone who’s been there and knows that it’s going to be okay.

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