Sunday, August 2, 2009

"Things" I learned in rehab

No, this is not a post about being sober, staying sober or anything like that. It's about products I found while in rehab!

However, I went to Parker Valley Hope in April because my drinking got way out of hand. I met a lot of wonderful people there who are no different than your friends or neighbors - seriously, think about it. I don't worry about telling the world I was a drunk that needed a 30 day kick-in-the-ass and while I am not active in AA or other treatment at the moment, I am doing quite well but the internal work is always there.

So, PVH (which is how I normally refer to Parker Valley Hope) is not a treatment center where you remain in a virtual jail like many facilities. Remaining in touch with society is important for some people (like me even if I am a loner) so we were allowed to (with other patients or family) go off "campus" for meetings, getting items at stores that we needed, have dinner or lunch, etc. There are restrictions due to health (those still in for observation ie: The Shake Shack), court orders and such along with time restrictions among a few others. However, when time allowed between classes, group and appointments with staff, we could leave.

A group of addicts be it alcohol, drugs or both tend to make a bee line to places like Wal*Mart, Target and Hobby Lobby. It was really funny to show up at Wal*Mart only to run into a bunch of your fellow addicts you had no idea left campus. It was quite fun to be let loose for a while and not feel like a naughty child.

So here are four products I found while in rehab that I can't be without:

1. Jergens Ultra Healing lotion. I live in Colorado Springs and our area is a semi-arid climate - dry enough to almost be a desert aka high desert plains. I've used all kinds of lotions over the years from the inexpensive (Suave's Advanced Therapy) to the more expensive (Curél's Ultra Healing Intensive) to the even more expensive (Eucerin). Jergens Ultra Healing is by far the best of the bunch with a decent price tag. At Walgreens (often found cheaper elsewhere) it's $6.99 for a 21 oz bottle. Prior to my forced vacation, er rehab, I had sworn on Vaseline's Intensive Rescue and while it's between Jergens and Suave in price, it just lost out. The Jergen's is not greasy (like Eucerin can be) and it really stays through between showers and heals the hands like no other.

My only complaint about it is it has the original Jergens scent and while it's light enough, I wish they offered this lotion in an unscented variety.

2. Hane's Fully Padded Wireless Bra. My family (and I) kind of messed up in packing and allowing me to pack for my trip to PVH and since my house had seen much, much better days nobody was allowed in (perhaps more on that later). I only had one ratty bra that had seen many years of use. In one of my first trips to Wal*Mart I picked one up. I am not well endowed in my chest so I can get away with no wires (thank the gods) and I prefer fully padded because I am not one to show the world the temperature. (snicker) The style I have I can't find but the link is close enough. I got it for $9.50 when I usually spend $30+ and I seriously can't be any happier with a bra. It holds its shape - but if you order online, apparently some people end up with mashed cups that never recover from being smashed like that - really does fit perfectly (I didn't try mine on, don't do Wal*Mart dressing rooms). Overall, this is a very good bra and the price is awesome. No more $30 bras that really don't fit all that well and you're only paying for the prestige.(?) Besides, I don't go gaga over lingerie. I go for comfort first.

This from a woman that would die without her Dankso Ingrids and yes, I do buy Hane's bikini cotton underwear. A comfortable tshirt, my Levi's, my Danskos, cotton underwear, cotton socks, Hane's bra and I am ready to tackle the world.

3. Dove Cool Moisture Beauty Bar. I've used Dove for a long time. I needed to pick up a two pack, one for me and a fellow PVH patient who couldn't leave campus and I chose this with the cucumber and green tea. It's a very strong scent which goes against my lotion thought but soap doesn't leave as strong of a scent as lotion. Anyhow, I didn't have my almost brand new bar of basis facial soap (I prefer bars of soap - they last longer, less packaging and I love basis products) and rather than buying another one, I had recalled that Dove used to advertise that their beauty bar was just that, for both face and body. I used that for almost the entire 30 days I was in PVH and my face didn't break out, feel off or otherwise have problems. I still prefer basis for my face but I dig this particular Dove product. This is one of those where I would have a fit if they discontinued the product.

4. Hershey's Nuggets: Special Dark with Almonds - "Mildly Sweet". Some people might question why I might be digging this chocolate given that most people wouldn't turn down chocolate even if it cost the price of a diamond. Well, I am not much of a sweet eater at all. I like chocolate but milk chocolate grosses me out and I don't like foods with a lot of sugar in them. I love caramel (it's the milky texture) and toffee (oh my, Ben and Jerry's coffee and Heath - drool) but overall I don't keep many sweets in the house.

During my stay at PVH, after a run to Wal*Mart or Target people would bring back a ton of candy. I am talking, in some instances, enough candy to fit into one of those hand baskets for smaller loads at a store. I tried a few bits of candy I hadn't had in a while and a few new items I'd never had and fell in love with these Hershey's Nuggets. They are not too sweet but not too dark chocolatey (is that a word?). Also, any kind of nut in with a darker chocolate, I can get behind. I keep a bag of these in my fridge and it takes about three weeks to go through.

So, that's my possibly weird writing about rehab. I don't want to get philosophical or whatever about rehab because it's different for everyone who enters. Recovery, staying sober, etc does not have a cookie cutter solution or set of solutions. People are as varied (IMO) as the life they lead in how they get, stay and remain in a sober state so I will reserve that for my journal where it's about feelings I have rather than preaching about what works for me, what should work for another and such.

I will always remember my experience there and while I have some thoughts about it and such that may not be all that positive, it was a good 30 days to find me again. I still have a ton of internal work but so far, so good. But I gotta tell ya, I don't think I have ever loved Wal*Mart as much as I did during my stay at PVH. I still dig it and I am not going to be a "hater" because of many reasons including that it seems to be the thing to be a Wal*Mart hater.


  1. Great product recomendations! I want to try that Dove soap in particular.

  2. Waves at her Zette! < waves >

    If you want, I can do a repost in your comm...anyhow, if you dig the soap, let me know.