The idea of entering rehab will usually appear unappealing to those who need such help. Even if the individual feels motivated to quit their addiction they can still dislike the idea of entering a treatment facility. One reason for this continued resistance is that the person does not want to spend time with other people. Those who are shy or prefer their own company can find the idea of spending a month in the company of others as unappealing. The reality is that entering rehab can greatly increase the person’s chances of making a success of their recovery so it is a step worth taking. Once they take this step they may be surprised at how rewarding rehab turns out to be for them. They can actually find that being a loner has some advantages.
The actress Rooney Mara described her own experience of being a loner with the words:
I am very slow to warm. I’ve always been sort of a loner. I didn’t play team sports. I am better one-on-one than in big groups.
A loner can be defined as a person who is or prefers to be alone, especially one who avoids the company of others. Humans are said to be viewed as social animals so this desire to be alone tends to be viewed negatively in society as a whole. The term lone wolf is often used to describe such individuals. This is because it is common for wolves to stay in packs, but there will occasionally be wolves who live alone – this is often because they have been driven away by the rest of their pack. The idea of a lone wolf has negative conations but some people do prefer to be alone, and it can even benefit their life. It is not that they are lacking in their approach to life but more that they have a different approach to life.
It is common to associate the label loner with somebody who is shy, but this is not the full picture. There is more than one type of loner. There is also the common misconception that being a loner is a negative thing, but this is not always the case either. The three main categories of loner would include:
* Those individuals who choose to be alone because they are on some type of spiritual path or involved in some other task that requires solitude (e.g. writing that great novel). These people may usually have no qualms about being around people, but they have choosing to remain alone during this part of their life because they believe it will benefit them in some way.
* The shy individual is often not a loner out of choice but remain this way because they struggle with human interactions. This type of person may desperately want to be with other people but their fears prevent this from happening.
* The introvert wants to be alone out of choice because they just prefer solitude – they prefer their own company. The introvert differs from the shy person in that their solitude brings them as sense of peace.
Loners will usually not choose to put themselves in a position where they are going to have to spend a great deal of time around other people. They may use their lack of desire for socializing as a justification to avoid going to rehab. This is a mistake because there are important reasons for why choosing to go to rehab can benefit the individual including:
* Most who try to give up alcohol or drugs will relapse within the first few days, but by making it through the first month the individual increases their chance of success. By going to rehab it helps ensure that the individual makes it through that important first month.
* The most compelling reason for going to rehab is that it gives the individual a firm foundation on which to build their recovery. If people lack a firm foundation it can spell disaster for the future.
* During their time in rehab the individual will be able to pick up the knowledge and skills they need to build a life away from alcohol and drugs. Having the right tools for the job will mean that life will be easier for them.
* The first year of recovery is often described as an emotional rollercoaster, and there can be a high degree of stress that the individual has to deal with. During their stay in rehab the individual will be able to pick up strategies and relaxation techniques to help them easily deal with this turmoil.
* The individual will be in a supportive environment, and this will make their early steps in recovery easier.
* They will be surrounded by professionals who will be able to offer guidance.
* The individual will have access to resources that will allow them to build a strong sobriety.
* One of the key things that the individual will learn in this facility is how to prevent a relapse back to their addiction. They will learn all about the relapse process, relapse triggers, and the steps they need to take to avoid such dangers.
* With the help of a therapist the individual can begin to dig down to find the root cause of their problems. Some people will decide to continue with therapy once they get home after they see how effective it can be.
* The individual learns about the common mistakes that people make in early recovery. By knowing about these dangers the individual will be less likely to be caught out by them.
* By attending this facility the individual will be making a firm commitment to a sober future. It proves that they are serious about getting better and not just saying the right thing – action speaks louder than words.
* This facility is a controlled environment. This means that it will be easier for the individual to experiment with sobriety tools – such experimentation can be more difficult in the real world because of the risk of relapse.
* The therapist will help the individual develop an aftercare package for when they get home. This is important because those who skip this step are most likely to return to alcohol or drug abuse.
There can actually be some advantages to being a loner in rehab including:
* Those individuals who are introverted tend to be much better at self reflection. The ability to do this is a must in recovery so the loner will already have an advantage over other people.
* The loner is less likely to expect other people to fix them – they are used to not relying too much on other people. This means that they are able to take responsibility for their own success in rehab, and this ensures that they get the most out of experience.
* It is sometimes suggested that the reason why people have two ears and one mouth is that they should listen twice as much as they talk. Those people who are introverted can often be better at listening because they are not spending all their time thinking about what they want to say.
* The loner will often have more time to reflect on what they are learning and this leads to greater retention of information.
Not only is it possible for loners to survive rehab, but they can even enjoy it at least some of the time. There is some serious work to be done during their time in this facility, but when people are on the right path they benefit from a sense of inner happiness and purposefulness. In order to make rehab easier the individual can:
* Choose an appropriate facility where there will be some privacy. If the individual chooses one of the more luxurious private rehab it will usually mean a smaller group of people and more personal space.
* The individual needs to understand that attendance at rehab is only for a few weeks, and that the benefits of going will make any discomfort worth it.
* By making the effort to engage with other people the individual may even decide that they enjoy socialize. This can often be the case with those shy people who just lack self esteem but inwardly crave for human contact.
* It is vital that the individual discuses their worries and difficulties in regards to socializing with their therapist. This professional will be able to suggest ways to effectively manage the situation.
* There will usually be time set aside in these facilities for quite reflection, and the individual should make the best use of these times.
* People can use their natural introversion to their own advantage so that they get the most from those periods when they are expected to self reflect.
* If the individual feels that being a loner is detrimental to their life they can begin work to overcome this tendency. The great thing about doing such work in rehab is that it is a controlled environment.