It is crazy to think that it is now been over six years since I have had to pack for treatment at Rocky Mountain Treatment Center. How time flies and how beautiful life can be! On the Rocky Mountain Treatment Center website, you will find a list of the things to pack for treatment. I am here to give you a suggested list of what not to pack.
I only had about a 30-minute notice that I was going to be going back to inpatient chemical dependency treatment. It hit like a lightning bolt. I had no time to even think about it. I just grabbed a large suitcase, threw it on the kitchen floor and started throwing stuff into it. Then it was off to the bar to have a few drinks before I was to report to Rocky. About 24 hours later, I awoke with a hangover in inpatient treatment and opened my suitcase to unpack. It was at that moment when I realized just how disoriented and confused I was.
I packed like a five-year-old. I didn’t bring anything that I needed. I only brought what I wanted. I had multiple framed wall pictures and 12 books. I had some knickknacks that can only be referred to as comfort items. I only packed two shirts and no pants. I did remember my toothbrush. My packing reflected my thinking at the time. It was haphazard and thoughtless, just like I was living.
But beyond the physical items that I packed and forgot to pack, I was also packing a lot of garbage. I was so full of emotional trash I couldn’t stand it. I packed in a lot of errant attitudes which were at the core of my disorganized living. I was hurt and I was resentful. I was hopeless and doubtful. I felt all alone. Did I mention humiliated? It suffices to say that on every level possible, I came to treatment unprepared and undisciplined. I was finally at the bottom of my bottoms.
How about some good news?
Rocky Mountain Treatment Center staff went to the store and bought me two pairs of sweatpants. By Day 10, I had a pair of jeans! Because I was so badly broken emotionally, I was open to the new ideas being given to me. I immediately started getting healthy. My mind started to clear from the cloud; the haze dissipated. In reality, it really didn’t matter how far down I started or unprepared I was. What I realize in retrospect was that the only thing I really needed to pack for treatment was me. If you can get your body there, the spirit will follow, not to mention everything you’re going to need on your new path. It all works out; it really does. Why do I believe this can happen for you? Because it happened to me and I was an incorrigible wreck. Cool, right?
James A. Francetich is a freelance writer and author. The opinions expressed are solely of the author and do not represent any community based recovery programs, private or public entities or any governmental agencies.