In order to be successful in alcoholism or addiction recovery you need to get a grip on certain recovery concepts.
Some of these concepts are more critical than others, and of course some of them will only be revealed to you very slowly over time.
For starters, the most critical concept in addiction recovery is that of surrender. This is the beginning process of any recovery, because without surrender, the person will be stuck in denial and anything that they may try in order to circumvent their addiction is only going to run them in circles and create more chaos. It is only after a struggling addict or alcoholic has finally had enough misery in their life that they hit bottom, surrender fully, and become willing to listen and learn about a new way of life. Surrender is fundamental to recovery. It is essential.
Once the addict or alcoholic surrenders, they need to ask for help. Asking for help could be thought of as another essential concept in recovery, because when we first get clean and sober, no matter how intelligent we may be, we do not really know anything about how to live a clean and sober life in recovery. We are complete beginners when we start out in recovery, regardless of our background. There is a mountain of learning that has to occur when a person first gets clean and sober.
Where is this new information going to come from? Unfortunately this new life that we are going to learn how to live is entirely dynamic. Therefore you cannot just read books and learn how to become clean and soberinstead, you have to live in recovery and seek help, insight, and feedback along the way so that you can learn, adapt, and make adjustments in your own recovery program.
This is why, even though there are plenty of books that outline recovery programs very clearly, people still go to AA and NA meetings every single day, sometimes going daily for years or even decades. That is because their lives are ever changing, and they themselves are ever changing, and therefore they are in constant need of new information. The learning process that is recovery never ends, and we have to keep reinventing ourselves in order to stave off relapse.
Most people go through inpatient treatment, which could count as another important concept in recovery. If you are on the outside and in the real world, then you of course have to deal with all of the temptations and urges that come along with them, making your first few weeks of sobriety very tenuous. Going to inpatient treatment can take a leap of faith and a strong dose of courage, but it is likely the best decision that you can make in your early recovery, because it all but insures that you get at least 28 days clean and sober while in a controlled environment.
In other words, just pick up the phone, call a rehab center, and get yourself lined up to check inand the next 28 days will actually be fairly easy. Deciding to go to rehab is tough; being in rehab is easy. Once you get there it is a piece of cake to stay, but getting there is the hard part.
Of course while you are in treatment you are going to be learning and soaking up new information like a sponge. They will teach you a little about addiction, but they will teach you even more about recovery and about how to live a life without having to resort to drugs and alcohol as your solution. Essentially, recovery is about seeking new solutions, because our old answer for everything in life was to self medicate with our drug of choice. In order to avoid our old solution, which in our diseased mind works for every problem, we have to seek out new solutions. And we have to keep doing that over and over again, with an undying willingness to avoid relapse.
Now once you build some momentum in your recovery you will start to realize the promises from the Big Book and your life will start getting a whole lot better. Other people will notice this in you before you see it for yourself. This is because personal growth is difficult and it feels uncomfortable while we are going through it. So you may feel as if you are struggling in recovery, or like you are flailing a bit trying to find the path, but other people will say things to you like You are right where you need to be right now, you're doing great! This will be infuriating to you, but later you will be able to look back and see the truth in what they were saying. You will also look at the newcomer in the same way one day, knowing that they are going through their own challenges, and telling them the same advice about how they are doing great.
Eventually, short term recovery will slowly morph into the rest of your life, and you will find yourself living in long term recovery. Now it is more about personal growth and challenging yourself to keep improving rather than the constant daily threat of relapse, which will have faded almost completely. But even though the immediate urge and trigger to use is likely subsided, there is still a threat of relapse based on the concept of complacency.
It is important to realize that even after decades of recovery a person can still get lazy, become complacent, and relapse as a result of this. This is why you need to come up with a recovery strategy that allows you to overcome the threat of complacency.
That strategy, in my opinion, should be one of personal growth and continuous self improvement. If you try to practice self acceptance too much in your recovery then it can lead to complacency and relapse. Better to push yourself towards personal growth and strive to improve yourself and your life situation, pretty much all the time.
How do you find the motivation for this? I think in early recovery, if you are doing the work, you will begin to see massive benefits of that work. Hopefully this will spur you into further action when you realize that you can make positive changes and improve the quality of your life. Not only will you be preventing yourself from complacency and the threat of relapse through personal growth, but you also get the benefits of whatever it is that you are improving about yourself or your life (fitness, relationships, emotional balance, etc.).
The post Getting a Grip on Addiction Recovery Concepts appeared first on Spiritual River Addiction Help.