Confused About Recovery? It’s Simple; Everything Changes
Confused about recovery from an addiction? You’re not alone. None of us knew what recovery would really be like when we first started out. In fact, if you listen to recovering people tell their stories, you hear story after story of how surprising their recovery process has been. No two stories are the same because we are all individuals, with unique combinations of events and experiences. However, all recovering people share certain things that are very simple and very human.
Relief and Gratitude
In every story about addiction recovery you will hear profound relief caused by becoming substance free as well as profound gratitude for it. If you are still actively addicted, you certainly can understand how that would be the case. From the vantage point of active addiction, nothing seems more precious than to be free of compulsive use.
A Newfound Meaning
Recovery stories typically include a newfound meaning for one’s life. Looking back to active addiction, people find they understand their lives and experiences in new ways. What seemed random or haphazard fits together, making sense of the chaos and pain they lived through when addicted. Understanding themselves, their experiences and their addictions better, recovering people typically move forward in their lives with a new sense of purpose.
A New Sense of Self
Addiction recovery also brings a new sense of self. Self-awareness grows and deepens the longer you abstain from substances. You work through the false beliefs your illness induced that said you were helpless, hopeless and worthless. You gain self-respect and learn that you can manage life in healthy ways. You discover that you have abilities, talents, and contributions to make.
Recovery gives you the skills you need to have healthier relationships. You communicate more effectively and you learn to enjoy heartfelt interactions. You’ll lose your fear of getting close to others because you’ll no longer feel ashamed of who you are. You will also become more discerning and able to set healthier limits and boundaries.
A Sense of Well-Being and Optimism
Recovering people also speak of a sense of well-being even though life is not always smooth sailing. Recovery instills a sense of being able to cope, to meet life on life’s terms, to problem-solve and to live less fearfully and less pessimistically.
When It’s All Said and Done…
When it’s all said and done, recovery is simple, but it does change everything. It is simple because it stops a destructive force and turns you back to life. Period. It changes everything because moving back into life renews you and your connections with yourself, others and the world.