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Sugar Rush.

Updated: Feb 21

One of my favourite things at the seaside is candy floss. This gives you a massive sugar high, and as with any sugar high, you eventually crash. I relate recovery expectations to being like this: if you go full steam ahead, you'll soon realise that you're only at the beginning of the marathon.

There is a section of the site on goal setting, but I've decided to go into more detail about being optimistic while remaining realistic regarding recovery.

When you first start rehab, your therapist will likely ask what everyday life is like for you and your goals/expectations regarding your rehab journey. They will be able to help you work out the best way to maximise your ability to achieve your long-term goals. This could be anything from returning to work, attending a social event or going on holiday. In my case, I chose three different things: short-term, medium-term, and long-term. Being impetuous and stubborn, this is the only way that would work for me. A big part of recovery is rest. It's important that you follow your therapist's advice on this. Accepting feedback is essential. You won't necessarily be able to tell any difference in your progress as you see yourself every day, and if you're anything like me, you're your own worst critic. Other people see you regularly, so take the feedback as a motivational tool to keep going.

Preparing to go home will be a bit of a rollercoaster, both emotionally and physically. There is, of course, excitement, but I know in my case I was nervous about being back in the "real world". I recommend talking through any worries with your therapists before you leave. Don't go home being overly anxious. When the time comes to leave rehab and return home, it's worth discussing your ongoing aims with the team who have been supporting you and any family members who will potentially be helping you. By doing this, you will have a clear plan of things to start working on as soon as you get home. 

When you do come home from rehab, it's a huge adjustment. In my case, it was wonderful to be out of a clinical setting after so long, but at the same time, extremely overwhelming. Try to temper your expectations and still get plenty of rest. It's surprising how exhausted you will be (both physically and mentally). Going to your local community with someone to help you is better. It is worth contacting your local authority to see what help they can provide with this. Don't make the mistake I did of going out and doing too much too soon. I fell and ended up with a spectacularly bruised thigh. Overall, moving home has probably been the most overwhelming for me. I was expecting it to be physically taxing, but it has also been incredibly challenging mentally. The more time you take to do things and the more you try to plan ahead, the better. Try not to get frustrated if things aren't immediately the same. Gradual improvement via small goals is still progress.

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