A day in the life of an addict in rehab

drug and alcohol rehab addict

As an alcoholic, towards the end of my drinking, my day focused entirely on alcohol. Thinking about it, trying not to think about, getting it, hiding it, disposing of it and lying about it. Very little if anything was achieved in between. Any routine I had known had all but disappeared. And life was about existing, surviving. And nothing about it reflected the full, happy and fruitful life I used to live and wanted to live.

Terrified of the unknown

My drinking was having devastating external and internal consequences on my life. And my family’s life and I could see no way out. A desperate family member saw no other way but drug and alcohol rehab. Reluctantly I agreed to go – terrified of the unknown, frightened of giving up the only solution to dealing with life I had known. But unable to carry on drinking. As the saying goes, ‘I couldn’t live with it, couldn’t live without it’. But I was on my knees after trying everything else.

Safe from my addiction

From the very first day of my life in rehab I knew I was where I was meant to be. I was safe from my addiction and could get the help I needed from people who had been there. The counsellors and my peers. The days were very structured, something that had been entirely missing from my life. And it was disciplined! All of which I learnt was part of the process (addicts tend to be an undisciplined bunch!).

The rehab I went to was residential. We returned to houses in the evening and would spend the day in the clinic for group and individual therapy. It was centred around the 12 Step Program of recovery outlined in the book ‘Alcoholics Anonymous’. The days were full, mentally, practically and emotionally but it give me routine back into my life. Re-established discipline and gave me back purpose. All whilst working on myself, giving me new solutions to deal with life, free me from my enslavement to addiction. And give me a new perspective of myself, my life and the effects of my drinking.

A typical day

Mornings would start with getting up in the house, daily cleaning (handily entitled as Therapeutic Duties – TD’s), breakfast, making beds and introducing prayer and meditation in my life.

On arrival at clinic we would complete a daily diary which asked us to reflect on our thoughts and feelings. What we value about ourselves and what in that day we were grateful for. We would then take part in a peer led reading and individually share back.

The main part of the day before lunch was group therapy. An opportunity to explore what was really going on for you. The afternoons after lunch was time for specialised workshops. On subjects that included: understanding the illness, co-dependency and work on relationships… We all had individual step assignments to complete that focused on the steps. And they were presented to the group for feedback from counsellors and peers. A weekly individual goal would be assigned. Which could be anything that the counsellors felt you needed additional work on.

In the evening we would be taken back to the house by the house managers where we would have a rota to complete evening meals, attend AA, NA and CA meeting and complete our assignments. All medical needs were catered for including detoxes. Strict bedtime routines which included handing in phones before bed and being in bed by a certain time were also enforced.

Other days included morning Yoga, access to a gym twice a week and 2 hours each Sunday for family visits if required. Weekends would allow us time to relax, catch up on assignments and step work, attend meetings, shopping and the gym.

Just what I needed

For me, this was just what I needed; every aspect of the carefully organised structure was what I needed to give me a firm foundation, some tools and suggestions to live a happy and sober life in recovery. There were tears, plenty of them but finally I got in touch with myself and the reality of the life I was leading. To be completely honest, I needed rehab and the chance to be able to focus on getting well away from the distractions and temptations of life, safe from a drink – especially in the first few day. I needed the intensity of it and the safe environment to start my road to long term recovery out in the real world.

The Haynes Clinic is a drug and alcohol rehab clinic providing treatment and advice. A free assessment is available if you think you need help. If treatment in a private clinic is not affordable you will still be able to get advice there as to how best get help for your addiction. Tel 01462 851414 or email us