It is often said when talking about recovery from alcoholism, that it is very much a process rather than something that is instant.
The comparison is often made that there is an expectation in society today, that everything should be instant.
This sense of everything needing to be instant has become even more pronounced with the advances of technology in the last few years.
The process of entering a rehab, is often seen as instant of itself.
This means that for many people the actual determination to enter a rehab, either by someone who is an alcoholic or through family pressure, or through an intervention is seen effectively as the solution to their problems.
The reason for this is simply that there is a huge buildup of pressure to the point where something actually happens.
The act of entering a rehab is often seen as that something, and there is an expectation amongst many people that the process of being in a rehab will affect a change that is the solution to their problems.
There is a really important point to this which concerns the level of pressure that is put on someone who is an alcoholic and seeking to stop drinking or to try and recover.
When entering a rehab, although it is difficult to generalise, someone who is an alcoholic will have a real sense of, or is likely to have a real sense of foreboding and fear about what is going to happen.
Not so much at a practical level, as a rehab will have a lot of information available beforehand, about its facilities and structure and the work of a therapeutic nature that will be done to deal with a person’s alcoholism/alcohol abuse.
People who work in a rehab will have a very clear idea, or should have a very clear idea about the reality of alcoholism and other addictions. Hopefully they will make it clear to the alcoholic and to the alcoholics family, that alcoholism is an illness and that recovery is a process that is something that happens once the person hopefully stops drinking.
A rehab will work for whatever period of time the person is present having treatment there, to help the alcoholic try and understand the reality of their alcoholism, and try and help them put their lives in the context as a result.
It is likely that the alcoholic themselves will fully understand that the recovery process is a process not an instant result. For many people who are alcoholics, the act of stopping drinking is simply the beginning of the process.
The rehab will encourage a number of therapeutic approaches to helping an alcoholic change, most likely based on the 12 step programme of Alcoholics Anonymous, largely on the basis that the alcoholic will begin to realise themselves that they need to change in order to stay sober.
This realisation will most likely come from the realisation of how they feel about themselves and to themselves once they get sober.
A rehab is somewhat of a closed environment, but hopefully one aspect of it is that it will be a safe place for an alcoholic to get sober and begin to realise the reality of their alcoholism both in terms of where it has taken them, the underlying emotional drives, and the nature of the work that can help heal those drives and therefore stay sober.
If any of this understanding comes whilst in a rehab, then the alcoholic will be very clear that this is a process and there is very little that instant about it.
The main challenge is often trying to make either the family or an employer or other interested party really understand this.
This is really important, as once an alcoholic has left a rehab, whatever else they do, an absence of pressure is hugely important in helping them stay sober.