Emotions when entering rehab

The 9 Emotional Phases of Rehab

The 9 Emotional Phases of Going to Rehab

Going to rehab is an emotional experience. Fortunately, most of us have the same emotional roller coaster ride. Whether you’re curious about how you will feel during rehab, or you want to remember how you felt when attending rehab, this blog post is for you. Join us in laughing at ourselves. Because, what is sobriety if we can’t laugh at ourselves?

``Emotions are temporary states of mind, don't let them permanently destroy you,`` - Unknown
Phase 1: Pure Intoxication

Upon arrival, most of us cause a ruckus.

We can’t walk in a straight line and we find general communication to be a struggle; that is, permitting we are conscious.

We may even find it difficult to remember the intake process.

Phase 2: What did I just get myself into?

When we come to in a strange bed, this time feels a little different than normal.

We glance down at the sheets and they are soaked with what we imagine is sweat… or pee.

We can’t quite remember where we are, but we have a vague idea that we won’t be happy when we find out.

As we make the way down the hall, we are met with a happy gentleman/gentlewoman who is dawning a collared shirt with a logo on it.

We think to ourselves: “That’s right. I’m in rehab! Oh God. Oh God. This is awful. I’ll be stuck here forever. I’m thirsty. I’m going to be sick. Oh God.”

Instant remorse.

Phase 3: This is horrible. I hate my life.

We can barely get out of our detox bed. Our whole body aches as we realize that we still have 4 more days of detoxification.

“The last thing I want to do is go to rehab today and hear a bunch of counselors tell me that I have a problem with alcohol and drugs. I can’t even imagine having to talk to people today. I hate my life.”

Phase 4: Okay, that kind of made sense… But I still hate it here.

We’re sitting in gender group with a few smiling faces and a sprinkle of miserable-looking people.

“This is awful, I can’t even believe this is my reality,” we think to ourselves.

Then, the therapist running the group spits pure genius.

Woah, that was pretty intense. I see what he/she is saying… That makes sense. Maybe this isn’t so bad?

No, it’s still pretty bad. But, that makes sense.

Phase 5: Why can’t I stop crying? What is wrong with me?

“I can’t stop crying,” we say through sobs and snot.

“I was so horrible to everyone in my life! How am I even lovable? What am I going to do to make amends to these people? Will they even want to talk to me?” we sob to our therapist.

4 hours later…

“I’m still crying. Why am I still crying? I just can’t stop feeling,” we tell the guy/girl to the left of us in the rehab van.

“It’s OK. I did the exact same thing,” he/she responds.

Phase 6: I’m so excited for art therapy this week! I wonder what the assignment will be?

Art therapy! The best form of therapy.

“I wonder what craft we will be doing this week? Maybe Mod Podge? I love that stuff. Or, maybe we’ll paint coffee mugs? I can’t handle this anticipation.”

We are counting down the cigarettes until we can add some glitter to something!

Phase 7: My housemates are awesome. They’re totally my buddies.

“My housemates are the best! I don’t know how I have lived my life without them! We are going to be best friends until the day we die. Road dawgs 4 lyfe!” we rage to our therapist.

That girl/guy we hated when we first got to treatment? They’re now our BFFL. We feel like we’ve known them for our whole life.

Phase 8: I can’t stop smiling… What is wrong with me?

“Why am I so happy? I don’t think I’ve ever been this happy in my entire life! I keep hearing people say ‘pink cloud,’ is this what they’re talking about?”

We laugh at the silly sobriety jokes our housemates make, we laugh so hard we actually pee our pants and have to wash off in the bathroom, and our face hurts from smiling all day long.

“I can’t even remember the last time I’ve smiled this much!”


I love sobriety.

I love my housemates.

I can’t believe I’ve lived my whole life loaded.

I want to stay sober forever.

I will now go tell everyone in the world how much better sobriety is than drugs and alcohol.

It’s Time For A New Method


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