Fresh out of Rehab – Living at Home, Dealing with Guilt, and Confused about Boundaries

I just got out of rehab and have to live with my mom until I get on my feet. She doesn’t understand that I need to go to meetings and groups for a while, and she wants me to do all these things for her around the house. I feel like I have to constantly make up for the mistakes I made in the past and for needing her now. My counselors talk about setting boundaries. But how do I set boundaries with someone I owe so much to? I feel like I can’t say No right now. Plus she’s paying for my gas and my cell phone. 

                                                                                      — Iris.

Dear Iris,

Thank you for your letter.  As you well know, the initial post-rehab period can be pretty brutal.  Your brain been kicked around by drugs and alcohol and has more than a few ‘bruises,’ shall we we say.  You are doing well, but you are still in the beginning period of healing up, which makes little things (like, say, simply keeping a daily schedule) feel more like climbing Mount Everest in a swimming suit.  Nice job on the hard work so far, by the way.  I hope that you have a box of dog treats somewhere, because you definitely deserve a Scooby snack.

While you’re at it, please give one to your mom.  It sounds to me like your momma is doing you a real solid.  You aren’t yet capable of taking care of your housing, your food, or providing yourself with a nice warm shower (I prefer a cold dip in the river, personally, but my human sure likes that hot bathtub), but she can.  Your mom is handling a lot of your adulting for you right now, meaning she is carrying her load and yours.  I don’t think she would do this for just anybody. Continue reading Fresh out of Rehab – Living at Home, Dealing with Guilt, and Confused about Boundaries

I’m 38 Days Clean and Sober. How Can I Keep This Up?

“Dear Hagrid,

I’m 38 days clean and sober from heroin.  This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  For real.  So, anyways, I just got out of rehab and now I’m trying to figure out what to do next.  I don’t want to go back to using, but I honestly don’t know how to be a grown up without drugs.   What do you suggest?

Former Junkie Who Wants to Never Go Back”

Dear Human,

First of all, congratulations on 38 days!  You are smelling better already.  This is a big beautiful world, and that heroin crap blocks your mind from being able to be here in it with the rest of us.

Your brain is in the process of healing now.   My best buddy, the psychotherapist, says that experts have shown that it takes a long time for the brain to recover from the stuff you were putting in it (and, while a lot of things can heal, some things may never quite be the same).

Patience with your healing brain is going to be really important.

So, hey, don’t take your brain all that seriously right now.  Since your brain is currently programmed to think that drugs are good, it’s probably going to whine frequently about how it needs drugs to be okay.  You are going to have to ignore it.  Chances are, unless you have some help, you aren’t going to be able to ignore it. Continue reading I’m 38 Days Clean and Sober. How Can I Keep This Up?