The death of rapper Malcolm James McCormick, better known as Mac Miller, shows once again how devastating drugs are and how important rehab is for musicians. Caleb Anderson, founder of Recovery Hope, wrote a guest blog for me about how to prepare for rehab. Many chapters of preparation are similar on how to prepare for going on tour, though there are some important additions regarding social interaction.
Entering addiction treatment for drugs and alcohol is an incredibly positive step toward reclaiming your sober life. But before you go, it’s important to tend to a few things before you are unavailable. Here are a few ways to safeguard yourself against issues that may arise while you are away.
If you live alone, you’ll need to take st eps to keep your home safe. This starts with asking a friend or neighbor to keep an eye on things until you return. During the spring, summer, and fall, schedule lawn maintenance for at least once every 10 days. Avoid the temptation to turn the HVAC off, as you need air circulation to prevent mold, mildew, and musty smells. HomeAdvisor suggests keeping expensive items, such as the grill and sports equipment, in the garage. Lock all the doors and windows and make your home security provider aware that no one should be in the home for the length of your absence. Talk to your veterinarian about boarding your pets and make sure they are up-to-date on their vaccines.
Telling your boss that you’re entering treatment for substance abuse is difficult. It is, however, important if you want to keep your job. Schedule a one-on-one session with your immediate supervisor where you can explain the situation in private and create a temporary exit strategy to cover your workload. Before you do, know your rights. Your company may have specific policies in place and may even provide extended benefits for in-patient drug or alcohol treatment. The US Department of labor explains that you are protected under the Family and Medical Leave Act provided your employer does not explicitly state substance use as a cause for termination.
No matter your reasons for being away from home, the bills have to be paid. Schedule expected expenses, such as utilities and credit card payments, for automatic draft through your bank account. Contact your credit card company to request a hold on your account or to let them know to expect unusual activity, especially if you’re going to be in treatment out-of-state and will be participating in off-campus outings. Check your credit report to ensure accuracy before you go and then again once you return. If necessary, move money from your savings into your checking account to cover expenses if you won’t have an income throughout the rehabilitation process.
Your social media accounts may be one place you turn for support throughout your recovery. But posting too much information about your situation is never a good idea. Reader’s Digest notes that you should remove identifying information from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social platforms. Don’t announce the fact that you’ll be away; doing so is an open invitation for burglaries. Unfriend and remove yourself from any people or groups that may encourage bad behavior.
Speaking of unfriending people, do a bit of soul-searching and don’t be afraid to end toxic relationships before you go into treatment. Be prepared for hurt feelings and even retribution. Part of your recovery will revolve around accepting your former behaviors, admitting when you were wrong, and making amends to your loved ones. Any undesirable information that comes out about your personal life during this time will have to be dealt with during and after treatment.
By planning ahead, you give yourself a better chance of focusing 100 percent on your recovery efforts. When it comes to taking your life back, you’ll need every ounce of strength to get you through the rough times and help you appreciate the power of a substance-free life.
Thank you for all the advice, Caleb!