Perhaps you went through a medically monitored drug detox followed by a medically monitored substance abuse treatment program. Maybe you have managed to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and have quit using alcohol and drugs on your own. No matter how you do it, putting down alcohol and drugs is the easiest part of the recovery process. The real work begins with living life clean and sober.
Recovery is a complex, everchanging process of personal growth. It is based on one basic concept: if you do not use a drug or if you do not pick up a drink, you can’t get high or drunk. That concept is then reinforced by the positive actions you take to foster your sobriety.
Before we discuss the ways we strengthen our recovery, we should quickly discuss what is involved in making a commitment to recovery from drug addictions. A commitment to recovery is a commitment to oneself. This commitment provides you with a sense of purpose and gives meaning to your new, sober lifestyle. Such meaning is a powerful motivator. Indeed, it can propel you when times get difficult.
Your committed purpose also helps you develop your sense of personal control. As everything in the recovery process is interconnected, success in one area leads to success in another. Your determination can grow along with your commitment to recovery.
Life is a series of everchanging set of events, most of which are out of your control. Acceptance and recognition help you stay in recovery regardless of the stress or unexpectedness an event may bring. There is an expression in 12 Step groups that says, “You can’t control it, you didn’t cause it, you can’t cure it”. In the end, you are only responsible for how you respond to the event and your emotions.
Learning to deal with your emotions is part of the recovery process. That process begins in substance abuse treatment and continues through an aftercare plan, which most likely will include individual counseling.
By: Mark S. Gold, MD & Dr. Drew W. Edwards, EdD, MS 1. What Drives the Onset, Progression, and...
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