Wednesday, November 22, 2006

28 Days

28 Days is just the Sandra Bullock movie that made me a fan. Spoilers, beware.

If you have any kind of substance abuse addiction and you haven't seen this movie, well, see it.

Sandra (Gwen) is in a 28 day rehab. Her mother drank herself to death. Gwen has lots of issues and is poly-addicted. She resists rehab but finally figures it out. This is a good place. People don't want to leave, in fact.

When someone does graduate and leaves this very cozy, ideal environment, the rest of the inpatients sing a rendition of Happy Trails.

Happy trails to you, until we meet again.
Happy trails to you, keep smiling until then.
Happy trails to you, till we meet again.

The launching is clearly stressful for Gwen. In one case a guy is leaving rehab and the other patients in the lobby see him with his packed bags, about to go. They sing the song.

Gwen (to another inpatient): I hope he makes it.
Other patient: Only three out of ten of us does. Maybe it's better for us if he doesn't.

The joke, of course, is that he doesn't quite get statistics. Three out of ten has no bearing upon any ONE person in particular. It's a group stat.

What's sad is that the statistic is probably true. Recidivism, repeating old habits, what we call "slipping", falling off the wagon, is much more common than not.

What I teach clients is that if that happens to you, if you start using again, well, you brush yourself off, pick yourself up, and start all over again. You have to love lines like these. They're so perfect for getting sober.

Slipping is just that, nothing more, nothing less, not a failure, not the end of the world. It's not so bad. It's just another challenge, no different than getting back to business when you've been on vacation for awhile.

Oh, and you're supposed to ask for help. People need people to be happy, not drugs or alcohol. And call people a lot, just to say hi, be a human being, care.

I know many people resist 12 Step programs for so many reasons, but in the process of getting sober following an egregious, life-changing, usually tragic event, millions of people are introduced to them. This film saves you a lot of trouble. Assuming you watch the whole thing.

Copyright 2006, TherapyDoc

1 comment:

Aldana said...

Hey I loved this movie too. I can relate to it as I think of my self as a work in progress food addict (once was 230 and now lost over 50 pounds in the past year).

I coordinate a support group for overweighted people and I see this kind of behavior all the time, the falling off the wagon kind I mean. I've noticed that the hard part is admitting that 1) you actually fell of it and 2) you have trouble getting back in.

If you don't mind I'd like to post your article in my group's forum so they can benefit from it too.


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