Walking into Axis Residential Treatment for the first time, I had no idea what to expect. I thought I might get some stares, but instead I'm greeted by Amy and Tiffany with warm smiles and hugs. My intake counselor, Dillon, was really friendly too and put me at ease right away—I don't feel judged at all as I had feared.
I gotta admit the process of filling out extensive paperwork isn't my idea of a good time, but I guess it's par for the course. It also helps take my mind off the withdrawal I can feel starting to kick in. Next, I meet with the resident doctor—laying my addictive tendencies out on the table so that a detox treatment plan can be devised. The thought of checking into rehab and going through detox for two legal substances—alcohol and prescription pills—seems rather minor considering there are people in here for hardcore illegal drugs—meth, crack, and cocaine. Still, I have no choice. I know I have to be here – for Jenny and Ryder, for my career, and mostly for me.
The first few days of detox are mental and physical hell. For 72 hours I go through what they call "a blackout period," which means I have no contact with anyone inside or outside of rehab. The withdrawal symptoms—body aches, chills, nausea, insomnia, fatigue, loss of appetite, mood swings—are agonizing. I feel them all. As I'm going through this, the resident doctor wants to learn more about me. We talk about my family history, my family, friends, education, what I want to accomplish in rehab. This must be what speed dating feels like, minus the nausea and chills.
Honestly, I feel awful and I'm tired of being grilled with personal questions. On top of that, they've put me on a strict schedule. I have to take doctor-prescribed medication (the irony), participate in one-on-one therapy sessions, sit and share feelings with addicts, etc.—my day is planned out for me. I begin to wonder if I really should be here. I didn't realize that checking into rehab would mean losing my freedom and control.
About the time when I'm wavering about staying, Dillon calls my family and puts me on the phone. Good move. Jenny tells me she loves me and how proud of me she is that I've had the courage to take this important step. She only wants me to get better—her genuine concern is evident by the pain and hope I hear in her voice. Then Ryder gets on and starts telling me all about Yasiel Puig, his favorite ballplayer. I don't know how much he knows about Axis or why I'm here; he just wants his dad back. I almost start crying, reminded of why I am here in the first place. Realizing I've put them through hell as well (it isn't just all about me) strikes a chord. It's starting to dawn on me that rehab is something that can honestly help me…it's not just a painful experience I have to tolerate—but a real way my life can get better. My addictions were a form of prison, so really I haven't lost my freedom, after all. With the help of Axis Residential Treatment, I'm now on the road to recovering a truly free life.
Follow us on twitter for updates.
Disclaimer: This is a fictitious depiction of a patient's experience undergoing treatment for addiction. It is written on behalf of and sponsored by Axis Residential. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Experiences associated with addiction treatment can vary widely and this post may not reflect all such experiences. To learn more about the process of being treated for addiction, please contact Axis Residential.