People who don’t understand alcoholism expect that five days in detox leads to instant sobriety. Wishful thinking but not realistic. We did not get to the bottom of the alcoholic barrel overnight and we are not getting sober overnight either. The problem lies with the insurance companies that don’t want to pay for longer term rehabilitation of an alcoholic. They prefer to try just detox or an outpatient hospital where the recovering alcoholic goes three times a week and the rest of the time they are thrown to the dogs known as real life. If they could have done real life they would not be an alcoholic to start with. I do not mean to say that detox and partial hospital can not work of course it can. However many people need a longer term facility and should push for it.
Years ago I went into a rehab for thirty days and it was the best thing I have ever done for myself and I haven’t had that much fun since then. The first week in a rehab we are walking around like a zombie trying to get the alcohol and drugs out of our bodies. We have started group therapy and most likely a 12 step program who I choose to call Alcoholics Anonymous(AA). By the second week some of the cobwebs in our brains have started to clear out and sometimes we laugh. By the third week we are starting to feel stronger for the first time in years. Yes we are starting to smell the roses-its true! Through all of this our emotions are up and down as we face the wreckage of our past and some hope for the future. Its hope we haven’t had in years and its a good start. It is now thirty days and we are about to head home and we are terrified to leave the safety net of the rehab and all the friends we have made. Hopefully we are in AA and a smart sponsor suggests that we do 90 meetings in 90 days and we go for it. Its not easy but nothing worth having is easy and at the end of the 90 days we look back at the person we were and just shake our heads and we are so grateful for the gift of sobriety.
There is no such thing as instant sobriety and for the families of the alcoholic do not be surprised if after only five days of detox the alcoholic goes back out and takes a drink. The seed has been planted. It may take a few times for the seed to start to grow. Stay supportive and have faith!!