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What goes in a good rehab care package?
October 18, 2010 9:45 AM   Subscribe

What are some good books / music / gifts for when you get out of rehab?

A friend is getting out of a short stay in rehab. This person is in their mid-20s and will be moving back in with their parents. I have already spoken to the parents about going to the appropriate *-Anon group, and have done some other things to be supportive to them during this difficult time.

When my friend comes back, I'd like to be supportive of them as well, although I won't be able to be around with any frequency. As I see it, the challenges my friend faces are two-fold: a) having to create new, healthy habits and ways of being without falling back onto their crutches when the going gets hard, and b) confronting the damage of their earlier identity and habits without falling into despair at what a hash they have really made of their life. This will not be easy, and I can imagine my friend falling off the wagon without help.

I would like to send a care package. What are some books or music or other gifts that would be good for someone dealing with this sort of thing? Stuff that is going to help them understand both that they can get through this, and that it will be harder to get through than they thought, and that it will ultimately be worth doing. What are some works of literature or art that will help pick my friend up when the going gets tough?
posted by gauche to Grab Bag (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Suggestion: perhaps just something of recent popularity that they can read to take their mind off of their issues. Nothing related to rehab/addiction/coping or anything--just an engrossing story/biography/documentary/etc that they can get into without having the baggage of forced introspection or something.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:55 AM on October 18, 2010


Call the place and see what their allowed items include. Depending on the rehab, they may not allow music, non-recovery related books, or anything with any possible reference to drugs or alcohol.

Downtime (between groups) can be frustratingly boring and depressing. Anything to occupy time (easy puzzles... no need to frustrate) usually is appreciated.

If they allow cigarettes, and the person is a smoker, those would be appreciated too.
posted by Debaser626 at 10:27 AM on October 18, 2010


There's A Million Little Pieces and similar books, but I'd actually be with Burhanistan in suggesting that something general and not rehab related might be a better way to go.

I'd be guessing that your friend is quite likely to want a nice big slice of normal once they get out. Not just want, but maybe also need. By all means give him or her something that's a real and tangible affirmation that living the straight life is worth living, but let him/her sort out the treatment and self-care stuff.

The question then becomes what's he/she into? What does he/she find inspiring/fun/joyful/etc. And do you have a nearby bookstore where you can buy a pile of it?

(Just as an aside. I've always found The Little Prince quite inspirational. Also Rumi but he does have a fair few "drunkenness as a metaphor for love" moments)
posted by Ahab at 10:40 AM on October 18, 2010


How about Tales of the Dervishes and a million-piece jigsaw puzzle?
posted by carsonb at 11:18 AM on October 18, 2010


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