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Rehab Ready – Who Is Most Likely to Succeed?

Rehab Ready - Who Is Most Likely to Succeed?

Muay Thai Boxing at Hope Rehab

It ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it.

It ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it

It ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it

And that’s what gets results.

Bananarama and Fun Boy Three

Success or Failure – The Right Attitude is Crucial

Not everyone who goes to rehab will achieve long-term recovery.  It is not like a garage where you can usually depend on the mechanic to fix your car. Just turning up is not enough. It is not just a matter of luck though. Some people are more likely to succeed  than others. Fairy tales have much to teach us. When it comes to succeeding at rehab, the story of the three little pigs may be worth paying attention to.

Once upon a time there were three little pigs who were at risk of homelessness due to a housing crisis. To avoid this terrible fate, they each decided to build their own house. The first pig was a bit lazy, so he just grabbed some straw and crafted something that vaguely resembled a home – “it will do” he consoled himself. The second pig was a bit more motivated, and he was able to track down some wood to build his house. He felt proud of his efforts even though he had cut a few corners to get the job done quicky. The third little pig realized that doing this project in a half-hearted way or trying to rush it would be a mistake. She took her time to find the right material, and although it took a lot of effort, she was able build a house of stone. Then a wolf turned up in the village, and we all know what happened next. It was only the third little pig who had the right attitude to building a house that still had one by the time the wolf had left.

10 Attitudes That Can Prevent People From Succeeding at Rehab

The Importance of Beginner's Mind

In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.

Shunryu Suzuki – Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

It can be almost impossible to teach people who believe they already know. In the Buddhist approach, it is ignorance (avijja) that is recognized as being at the root of all suffering. This ignorance is not about stupidity or a lack of knowledge but more about believing things that are simply not true. When we arrive at rehab, our heads can be full of thoughts/ideas/opinions about ourselves, other people, and the world that are causing us pain. It is this ignorance that is supporting the addictive behavior. If we refuse to challenge this worldview, it can be incredibly difficult to make much progress.

Beginner’s mind means putting aside what we think we know. It means being open to new ideas and having our old ideas challenged. It means trying things that we might normally dismiss. Simply put, beginner’s mind means becoming teachable.


Overcoming the Obstacle of Ambivalence 

We humans are complicated creatures and part of this is how we can want two opposite things at the same time. This is what is meant by ambivalence.There is a part of us that knows we need to stop the alcohol or drugs, but there is another part of us that doesn’t want to. Ambivalence is a bit like being caught up in a tug-of-war where you are the rope. It is confusing, painful, and soul-destroying. It can mean that every time we try to quit our addiction, we are caught in a battle with the part of us that wants to start again (and when we are using we are tormented by the part of us that wants to quit).

Ambivalence comes to an end when we recognize that there is no way can ever make the drugs work. This is what it means to hit rock bottom. We are finally beaten, and we recognize that there is no going back. The closer we can get to this realization, the easier our journey in recovery will be. In order words, more ambivalence equals more struggle, while less ambivalence equals less struggle.

Are You Rehab Ready?

It is unusual for clients to tick all of the boxes when it comes to rehab readiness. At least some ambivalence is common, and it can take a bit of a push to open up to new ways of looking at things. The more ready we are when we arrive, the more we can get out of the experience, but for many of us, it is during the challenges of being in rehab that we have our breakthrough where we become truly ready to change. The important thing is that this happens at some point. If you are ready to begin your journey into recovery, please contact the team here at Hope Rehab Thailand to find out how we might be able to assist. 

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