Please help! Newcomer here trying "rehab" for first time ever

Old 07-07-2015, 09:25 PM
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Please help! Newcomer here trying "rehab" for first time ever

Hi, everyone. I've been registered on this forum for some time and have been a long-time lurker, but this is my first official post. I'm writing from a short-term psychiatric facility on the east coast (luckily, one that allows the use of electronic devices). I've been an inpatient here for almost a month -- was admitted after a history of suicidal ideation led to a sincere suicide attempt. I am (or was) an alcoholic, but my psychological illness is much broader that that.

Now in my early 30s, I've endured a long past of childhood and adolescent trauma (physical, emotional, and sexual abuse), followed by an adulthood marked by sexual assaults and rape. I've also suffered quite a bit of grief and loss and my life. Naturally, I felt a strong need to find some way to self-medicate pain, be it healthy or unhealthy; and unfortunately, alcohol made its way to the forefront. In the past several months, my psyche has begun to spiral out of control, and I feel powerless over everything in my life, powerless over my own soul.

I'm an absolute wreck and have been living with this unresolved trauma (and poor coping mechanisms) for so long, that my treatment team agrees I need to undergo some more intensive therapy in a residential setting. After doing my research with the social workers here in the hospital, I've chosen to seek admission at The Meadows, a "rehab" center in AZ that focuses on inpatient treatment for PTSD/trauma as well as for co-occurring addictions (e.g., alcohol and self injury. I'll be riding the "dual diagnosis" track.)

Fast forward through the mundanities of the admission process, and now I've sealed the deal and am flying out west to The Meadows this Friday morning/early afternoon. Needless to say, I am terrified. Absolutely terrified. As the subject line states, this will be my first go at any sort of rehab at all, and this is going to be heavy -- the program's mission is to treat the "whole person," to get to the core of the disease rather than to dwell on individual symptoms (drinking, self-harming, etc.) without first working on the root cause.

So. As a newbie, what do I need to know, and what should I start fearing most right now? The withdrawal from caffeine (coffee) and from my electronic devices will likely be most brutal, but the strictness of the program and rigorous structure also scares me a little. No, not a little, a lot.

In addition to general advice, if anyone knows anything about The Meadows that you'd be comfortable sharing with me, or if anyone is an alum/alumna of the program, please, please, please tell me everything. The plunge into a deep, dark see of the unknown beckons.

Thanks so much in advance for any helpful tidbits.

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Old 07-07-2015, 09:33 PM
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Hi melancholyJ - I have no experience to share, but I know others will.
As you'd already know SR is a pretty special place

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Old 07-07-2015, 09:39 PM
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Welcome to the posting side melancholyj.
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Old 07-07-2015, 10:14 PM
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Your doing the right thing....going for advanced help. It's natural to be fearful of the unknown but take comfort in knowing that the staff at the meadows has your best interest in mind. Just approach it with an open mind.
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Old 07-07-2015, 10:46 PM
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Hi melancholyj,

Welcome to SR posting.

I gather that a set routine and lack of electronic distraction will allow for your mind and body to be rested and nourished as part of your healing process. I wish you the best. This is very courageous of you.
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Old 07-07-2015, 11:16 PM
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I think being scared is fine. Just go with it. The people leading the way know exactly what they're doing.

I was really scared to give up my crutch, alcohol, but I knew the people here with good sober time and sober habits knew what they were doing so I followed their advice and became less and less scared the further along I went.

Now that I've been a year without my crutch alcohol I'm not scared at all. In fact the opposite of scared. I feel actually kind of empowered and brave.
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Old 07-08-2015, 12:55 AM
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Welcome, MelancholyJ.

Your story is not unlike mine. It took me many years to deal with as much of my history as I needed to and it was a sometimes very painful process. In my twenties I was hospitalized after a suicide attempt. That helped a good deal and I think it enabled me to survive. Over the years I've had various forms of help. Alcohol has been an issue for years. I'm finally dealing with it, now successfully. I am 70 years old. It's never too late :-)

In my opinion it sounds like you are doing all of the right things. I'm not familiar with the place you are going to but dealing with your issues is critical to have a good chance at a fulfilling life. It helps if you can relax into the process - something I'm not good at, lol!

For me, it has been a fairly continual process but a mostly upward trend. I now feel at peace and for the past years my awareness has changed from misery to feeling that "I am who I am because of what I endured rather than in spite of it".

My alcohol abuse hindered rather than helped the process but I finally feel that the worst of it is behind me.

You sound clear-headed and focused and imho you are headed in a positive direction. The unknown is harder for us because a situation in which we feel helpless is especially scary.

Good for you for walking the more difficult path of dealing with your past. I'll be thinking of you!
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Old 07-08-2015, 10:33 AM
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Welcome to the Forum MelancholyJ!!
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