Characters of Rehab

This was a paid assignment from

To see it (under my pseudonym, Josh Aura), go to this link:

Discolusure: Inspired by real people, but the characters in the following piece are completely fictional. 

The Characters of Rehab

Throughout every chapter of life, you’re bound to meet different and exciting personalities. But in my 23 years of existence, I can honestly say so far, nobody compares to the eccentric and amazing people I met at rehab. It seemed everybody had their own unique persona, and honestly a book could have probably been written about each person I met. But there were a few in particular who stood out to me.

First, I’ll start with the staff. There was the Thumper and the Nurturer. Of the other clients, there was Ms. Look At Me, The Queen Bee, and The Loner. The Thumper was a young, freshly-sober field manager who basically drove around on a golf cart telling couples to stop holding hands and force-feeding the Big Book down everyone’s throats. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about recovery. But this was the person we all know and love to hate who can literally recite specific paragraphs and tell you which pages they’re on. And every time he spoke about something that had to do with recovery, his eyes looked like they were going to pop out of his head. He was a sweet guy, but if you’ve ever been to treatment or AA, I think you know the type.

Then there was the Nurturer. She and the Thumper had the same job, but she had many years on him, and was known around campus as “Mama Bear”. This was because she constantly made sure every single person was safe, being cared for, and being listened to. She was the one that I could go to in the middle of the night with a problem, and she would actually listen, not just nod her head and jot something down on a yellow pad. She, alone, was one of the reasons I stayed as long as I did at my rehab. People really can make all the difference.

Now when it comes to the other clients, whom were mainly people my age, this is when the personalities really became larger-than-life interesting. Ms. Look At Me was 20 years old and the second she arrived, you could tell she was the kind of person that always talked about herself. And she was. She spoke of her famous Hollywood mother, the red carpet events she attended, and every Gucci or Prada handbag she had gotten tired of. It was clearly a mask to shield herself from truly letting anybody in, and that was clear, but I’d be lying if I said she didn’t add a certain flair to the dynamic of the group of people there.

The Queen Bee is actually two different people that I met two different times I went to rehab. But the similarities were so astonishing to me, I had to put them down as one  entity. This was the person (and it doesn’t have to be a girl) who goes to rehab and treats it as either High School or summer camp. Usually forced by their parents, this person tries to make everything a popularity contest, and cares more about gossiping and hooking up than they do about getting sober. In fact, in my experience, The Queen Bee couldn’t care less about getting sober. Rehab was vacation for her.

Last but not least, The Loner. This was the person (more or less) in every group who was considered part of that niche, but didn’t actually contribute anything. I’ve noticed these tend to be the people, for whatever reason, who actually do quite well with staying sober long-term. Shy and bashful, with the occasional pearls of wisdom in group, the Loner has a very likeable, but somewhat unapproachable quality about them.

But to place these people in such narrow boxes seems a bit strange. Although I’m sure all of you know one of these people, or maybe you are one of these people yourself, this definitely isn’t a flawless formula. For example, even in my own experience, life threw me a curveball and The Loner and The Queen Bee ended up hooking up.

The kicker? The Loner was gay. \

And for a surprise twist ending? The Loner is me.


So as much as rehab sometimes felt to me like a hilarious, crazy, drug-free TV show, and as large and loud as some of the personalities were, I met some people there that will forever be in my life. If you allow yourself to, usually you can find that in a place like that, where everyone is a bit scared and vulnerable, you can truly make everlasting friendships. And those are something that is pretty crucial to have in a successful journey of recovery.    


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