Recovery as a Lifelong Process
The recovery process typically begins with a short-term stay in rehab that can last from a few days to a few weeks. Once that has ended, the recovering addict will enter the lifelong recovery process. This is the point of recovery where an individual enters their life again. Many in recovery believe that the short-term stay in rehab is the foundation for living a sober life but the recovery process really begins after this. The recovery process goes far beyond staying sober. It is a commitment to change where one needs to be open to possibilities and live a self-directed life.
The unfamiliar world of recovery can be hard for some to grasp. Change is scary, as what comes after the change is unknown. To make a lifelong commitment to recovery and change, one must be willing to step outside the boundaries of what is comfortable and known. The addiction is what you were comfortable with; it was what was known to you.
Recovery involves not only abstinence from the addiction but also learning life skills and living a whole life. Abstinence is the precursor to learning and living, as without abstinence, change might not occur.
A lifelong recovery process involves:
- Making changes to how you think and feel and being able to be 100% present with your emotions no matter how painful.
- Discovering parts of yourself that may have been dormant during the addiction cycle.
- Participating in activities that have meaning to you.
- Being present in the moment and appreciating what you have.
- Re-evaluation of your purpose and what holds meaning for you.
- Developing new patterns of living with awareness and spirituality.
Recovery also involves a path that you must determine. You might share common experiences with others during recovery but recovery is something you own as an individual. Here are some suggestions to help you find your path to recovery.
- Share your experiences with others, as well as your thoughts and feelings.
- Find acceptance in yourself and with others.
- Learn to forgive and to be forgiven.
- Love yourself and others honestly.
- Be patient with yourself.
- Learn to be inspired.
- Nurture your life and your recovery with kindness and serenity.
These suggestions are just tools to help you find and define your own path to recovery. If one lives and loves honestly, is accepting and patient, inspired and forgiving, one might just be able to find this path and live a life of recovery.