Entering rehab is not usually something that people would want to do out of choice. Their reason for agreeing to go to such a facility is that they know it is the best way for them to overcome their addiction problems. By attending this facility the person will be able to fully focus on getting better, and they will be surrounded by the support and resources they need. Although it might be an exaggeration to say that rehab is a fun place it is most certainly an exciting one. This is because many who go through this facility will be launching the most successful period of their life – they will be getting a second chance.
The writer F. Scott Fitzgerald once made a negative pronouncement that there are no second acts in American lives. This quote was made during an era of great economic turmoil but even then it wasn’t really true. Humans have always been able to overcome adversity to turn their life in a new direction. In order for them to do this though, they have to first believe it is possible.
Those addicts who suffer from low self esteem may believe that they do not deserve a second chance in life. What this individual fails to realize is that there lack of self worth is tied in with their addiction – it is these negative thoughts that are keeping them trapped. Most addicts will have done things that they feel ashamed about, but this does not make them undeserving of a second chance in life. In fact the only way that the person can begin repairing the damage of the past is by getting this new opportunity in life – guilt is of no use to anyone. By getting sober the individual can begin again only this time they can do everything much better than in the past. The actress Rachel Griffiths summed this up nicely when she said:
> There’s nothing as exciting as a comeback – seeing someone with dreams, watching them fail, and then getting a second chance.
If people enter rehab they do have the opportunity to grasp a second chance in life. Entering treatment does not guarantee success because it will be up to the individual to make the most of their time in this facility. Those who fail to make use of the available resources or cling onto their old attitudes will miss out on a second chance. This is because they will be likely to relapse almost as soon as they are free to do so. In order to make rehab the beginning of a completely new life the individual will need to:
* The individual must remove any ambivalence they have towards recovery. This means that they give up any hope that they will ever be able to go back to their old life.
* The person needs to be completely willing to do whatever it takes to stay sober.
* The best attitude to have in rehab is a beginner’s mind. This means that the individual is completely open minded so they can gain new knowledge and learn new skills.
* It is up to the person to take responsibility for their own recovery and not expect other people to do this for them. This means taking charge and ensuring that they get the most out of their time in rehab.
* The individual develops realistic expectations of what will happen to them once they return to the real world. They will expect that their life will keep on improving over time, but they will not expect that everything is going to be perfect for them right away.
* The person will ensure that they will have enough support once they return home. They become willing to consider any action that will increase their chances of success in recovery.
* They develop an optimistic outlook because they are determined to make the most of this second chance in life. Their positive attitude to life will help attract good things onto their path.
* The individual leaves rehab feeling motivated and determined to live the life that they know they deserve. They begin setting realistic goals for the future and begin working towards for these.
* The person makes a commitment to never taking their sobriety for granted. They realize that that recovery is a process and not an event and that rehab is just the first step in this process.
Everyone deserves a second chance in life, but it is up to them to each person to make the most of it. Some addicts do fail at recovery a few times before they finally break away from their addiction for good, but there is no guarantee that second chances will always be there. There are plenty of people who relapse and never get another chance at recovery. This means they have chosen a death sentence by returning to alcohol and drugs. The opportunity to start again in life is a real gift, and it is vital that people grab onto this with all their might. It is never too late to change and the benefits of doing so are immense. Those who make the decision to squander this second chance are playing a game of Russian roulette with their happiness as well as their lives. It is foolhardy and they can only lose. They are either delaying the day they find real peace in life or they are hastening their own death.
One of the main reasons why people permit themselves to put up with the misery of addiction is that they are suffering from low self esteem. When people become sober this feeling of low self worth can still hold them back from demanding and getting the good things in life. The way to build up self esteem is through finding success. The individual starts off by setting themselves modest goals and by achieving these it will boost their self esteem. As the person gains confidence they feel able to set the bar higher. Eventually the person reaches a stage where they feel capable and able to achieve their dreams. By increasing their feelings of self worth the individual is able to get the most of their second chance. There is one important caveat to all this – the individual must never allow their high self esteem turn into narcissism. This can be avoided by ensuring that feelings of self esteem are tied closely to reality and not fantasy.
The cyclist Lance Armstrong offered the best advice when he said, if you ever get a second chance at life, you’ve got to go all the way. This opportunity to start again is a gift, but it is up to the individual to make the most of it. Here are a few suggestions for how to go about taking full advantage of this opportunity to start again:
* One of the key elements of making the most of a second chance is being grateful for it. Those people who feel gratitude for their new life will never go back to the old way of doing things.
* In order to be successful in life the person will need to decide on what they want to achieve. This is going to be a personal choice but a good place to begin the process is with childhood dreams.
* During the years of addiction they individual will have settled for the bare minimum in life. In recovery they owe it to themselves to be the best they possibly can and achieve their dreams.
* One way of expressing gratitude for recovery is helping other people to enjoy the same privilege. This type of service is not only a way to give back, but it also strengthens the individual’s own recovery in the process.
* When life is going well it is easy for people to just take this for granted – they can forget about all the good things they have in life. Those who keep a daily journal will be able to look back on their progress to be reminded of how far they’ve come.
* It has been suggested that addicts tend to have certain character traits that make them prone to addictive behavior, and that these traits can continue to cause problems in sobriety. In order to avoid this from happening it is important that the individual works to overcome aspects of the addictive personality such as impulsiveness and unwillingness to conform.
* It is a good idea if people in recovery remove the word should from their vocabulary and replace it with want to. This is because people use the word should to make themselves feel guilty about the things they have no real intention of doing anyway.