It can be very overwhelming going into rehab for the first time; thoughts and feelings start to pound on you; What will I expect? What can I do and what is forbidden? It is completely normal, to feel anxious or nervous, excited and eager to start working towards your recovery, perhaps also angry, that you have reached this point of exaggeration in your life, together with a mixed array of confusing thoughts and emotions.
The alarm goes off at 6am, giving time for the fellows to wake up and get ready for the morning meditation at 6.30am. As soon as that is over, we put on our walking shoes and we are off for a morning walk at 7am just round the neighbourhood to get our hearts’ pumping early on in the day. Arriving back to the premises, breakfast is prepared and we all sit down for the most important meal of the day. Fostering a healthy lifestyle is key for recovery.
Then it’s 10am, we gather around for the first group of the day, The Feelings Group. Entering this group for the first time can be a bit intimidating as this is the time where the person is asked to remove their masks and render themselves vulnerable to their insecurities and paths that led them to the red chair they are sitting on. Do not fear this as this is the stepping stone you need to start uncovering what has led you to your present situation. You will relate to others, and others will relate and find comfort in you. After a few groups, you will start to wonder, ‘maybe I am not alone and people can indeed understand what I am going through.
Being in recovery is more than just not using; it’s an ongoing process of growing together with healing mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. It is also a process of acquiring daily living skills such as cooking and doing chores. Keeping yourself and your surroundings clean helps you to have a clear mind and that is why at 11.15am, the fellows start to clean the residential home. Tasks are assigned and everyone gets to do their part for the benefit of the whole group.
During recovery, the body will go through many changes and thus, the benefits of eating healthily can give the body a better chance of recovery as it will increase your energy levels. Lunch is prepared and at 1pm, fellows and staff sit down for lunch together.
After lunch, the dining area is cleaned and you will have some time to relax and prepare yourself for the second group of the day. At 2:30pm, The Afternoon Groups are never the same. This is because they are centered around a specific purpose, such as Goal Setting Group, Honesty Group, Peer/Group Evaluation, and Week Evaluation. These types of groups will help you to focus one thing at a time and gives you a space to work on yourself with the help of the other fellows’ feedbacks.
The evenings vary according to what day it is, and you have the time to be more at ease and work on your therapeutic pamphlets and do some readings. You gather with your fellows again to have dinner together at 7.15pm, and then watch the news at 8pm. At the end of every day, you have the chance to keep a personal journal, also known as the significant events, to keep track of how your day has evolved. Finding time to relax and unwind is also imperative for one’s recovery. Fellows can enjoy a game of UNO together and have a good laugh before retiring to bed at 9.45pm.
That’s about it, a general day at OASI. However, we cannot leave out other activities that might be enjoyable by the fellows which vary throughout the week. Going to the beach during summer and watching movies during the weekend are two things that fellows look forward to.
But simplifying a day in a rehab does not give it justice, because every day is a different day with new challenges that we must learn to face. However, once in recovery, you are never alone and finding help and support from the fellowship is a benefit that you will have access to in times of need.