Receiving treatment at a residential rehabilitation center means that a person will be separated from their family members and loved ones for a period of time. Although a patient will be surrounded by others most of the time it doesn’t mean they won’t miss their loved ones and perhaps feel occasionally lonely. Following are some ways to feel more at home and beat the blues:
- Bring a picture or special item
When attending a rehab facility, it helps to bring a photo or special item to remind the patient of the people he or she cares about. It’s also excellent motivation to have a constant reminder of why they are attending rehab. Achieving sobriety is cause for celebration not only on the part of the patient but also their family members.
- Make friends
It might be easier said than accomplished but a person entering rehab shouldn’t arrive with a poor attitude. The setting of goals and the determination to do well are just as important as treatment itself. Get to know other patients, they will have similar problems and it’s reassuring to know one is not alone in their illness. Group therapy in particular allows patients to share their story if they wish and listen to the experiences of others.
- Keep the goal in sight
Rather than complaining about having to spend the next 30 to 90 days in recovery, a person can focus on the goal of how much better his or her life will be after completing treatment and living a sober life. A person can focus on the career he or she could have and the positive benefits that will be available once he or she is substance free.
- Be selfish
For those not looking to form new relationships, this is the ultimate time to become selfish. A person is able to focus on his or her needs or wants without having to worry about others. It’s the prime time to reflect on goals and just be a bit selfish.
- Try helping another patient
Often, being the total opposite of selfish is the best option. When people focus on something besides themselves, it helps stave off feelings of loneliness. Helping another provides its own reward by helping someone else overcome their problems.
- Reach out to a counselor
Lonely patients should talk to to a counselor to share their feelings. The counselors are there to help in any way possible, even if that means just talking to a patient as more than a counselor but as a friend. The counselor is interested in guiding a patient in the right direction, and that can’t happen if a person has feelings of loneliness that aren’t addressed. Unexpressed feelings of loneliness can lead to an individual not being completely focused. This can result in the abuse of drugs or alcohol following rehab because he or she wasn’t focused or is still lonely and needs a coping mechanism. It’s important for a patient to speak up about any friendships or other relationships that were dissolved due to drug abuse, so patient and counselor can talk about the issues and help work through them.