The recovery process is the period immediately following the decision to overcome addiction. This process can begin before, during, or after you reach complete abstinence. Recovery includes choice, awareness, goals, a personal plan, recovery principles, a support system, change and development, and of course perseverance and practice.
Recovery begins with a decision and continues into a lifetime transformation of ongoing growth and development. It is never too late to come back from an addiction; recovery is always possible. The one requirement for your recovery though is personal choice. Without your decision and commitment to create change, recovery is not possible even with the best professionals and programs out there.
The following principles outline key factors in recovery. The principles to recovery are often the same for everyone, but how you learn and apply each principle can be different.
Principle #1 Increase Readiness to Change:
Readiness can be defined by your desire for change, clarity to desired change, willingness to do what it takes to change, and openness to the process of change. Additionally, you must be ready to surrender the addictive lifestyle letting go of the comfort, excitement, pleasures, and benefits of the addiction.
Principle #2 Practice Free-Choice:
The more you practice free-choice the more control you gain. It is essential to see that the addictive process is automated and perpetuated through its own repetition. Addiction survives because of its own repetitive cycle- addiction runs on autopilot. The ticket out is free choice. Move to your conscious mind, switch gears, and turn the knob up on free choice. The more time you spend in your conscious mind, the less attention and energy put into the automated addiction.
Principle #3 Work through Blocks:
It is essential to identify and work through the ‘blocks’ that lead to self-sabotage. The top 3 most common blocks that prevent recovery in a live addiction are: 1) Denial, 2) Resistance, and 3) Fear. When there is denial you cannot see the blocks, you must be able to see. When there is resistance, there are walls up, still cannot see the blocks. When there is fear, there is a passionate avoidance in the wrong direction. Fear is the block, and the block is made up of fear.
Principle #4 Create a Vision
You want to create a vision with a powerful enough positive charge to outweigh the intense negative charge of an addiction. When you are clear on what you want, and have a vision to inspire you, you naturally lose interest in the addiction. Recovery is not about surrendering to an ‘addict image’ and staying contently nervous in recovery forever. Recovery is about walking right out of this chapter and into another vision. A vision awakens you to your greatest potentials, passions, talents, and purpose. Your vision rekindles your love for you and humanity.
Principle #5 Be True To You:
You want to discover who you are as if nothing else is around to influence you. You must learn to love, accept, and respect yourself. You must develop self-worth and confidence in who you are, and who you have the potential to be. For recovery you’ll have to become grounded in your own set of values and morals. Your recovery plan and vision should reflect the true you.
Principle #6 Construct a Personal Plan:
A personal plan is your blueprint to recovery visibly mapping out a more desirable route. A personal plan provides structure, stimulation, and stability. A personal plan breaks goals down into action steps which are inserted everywhere into your daily life. A personal plan familiarizes you with your new ways of being, responding, and coping in life. A personal plan wraps a protective bubble around you, holds you accountable to your goals, and keeps you on track.
Principle #7 Prepare for Hardships:
The more you anticipate and prepare for hardships the easier it will be to get through them. A recovery plan teaches coping skills, relaxation techniques, and will help you find alternative ways to find relief. It is important to identify triggers, problems, and challenges so you can apply your skills in the moment of distress.
Principle #8 Develop Optimism:
Change requires optimism. Recovery runs on positive thoughts. What you think about you bring about; you will have to create in your mind what you want to see in your life. The more optimistic you are the more opportunities you will see. The more optimistic you feel the more inspired, faithful, and enthusiastic you will be in the recovery process.
Principle #9 Mature Emotionally:
Through emotional maturity and development it becomes easier to manage emotions and avoid unnecessary breakdowns. Addiction survives through pain and recovery survives on feeling good. It is imperative that you find alternative ways to feel good, get relief, and manage emotionally difficult moments. You are responsible to feel good naturally.
Principle #10 Physical Health:
The more you improve your eating, exercise, and sleeping patterns, the smoother your recovery process will be. Part of recovery is putting a health and fitness plan together and following through with it. Self-care is another major aspect of a successful recovery process.
Principle #11 Evolve Your Lifestyle:
You can evolve your lifestyle by relearning healthier life skills. Addiction is the opposite of life so life skills are not needed for addiction. Addiction has its own set of skills. In recovery you will have to exchange the addictive skills in for life skills. There are countless life skills to practice and improve all of which will guide you through recovery and far beyond sobriety.
Principle #12 Transform Your Relationships:
You did not become addicted alone and you will not be able to overcome addiction alone. Addiction recovery requires new commitments from everyone in the family and inner circles. Addiction sits within the fabric of our human race and we all share the responsibility to create changes. It is important that family and friends of those addicted share their vulnerabilities, get on equal ground, and stop judging the addictive behavior. For someone to heal and grow it is best if they are surrounded in authentic, conscious, and healthy people who are working on themselves too. Recovery goes faster when everyone provides unconditional love, support, bonding, and a sense of belongingness to each other.
Principle #13 Transform Your Environments:
Transform your home, work, car, and outer environments to a stress-free, natural, comfortable, predictable, safe, secure, lighthearted, and loving place to be. Recovery environments should empower, uplift, positively challenge, and initiate inspired action.
Principle #14 Develop Spiritual Wellness:
Tuning into the spiritual side of life promotes healing and recovery. Addiction is often described as a separation from source, or from God. Hence, it is through spiritual practice and wellness that the mind and body can be restored. Connecting with a higher sense of purpose, passion, and meaning in life helps you rise above and beyond addiction. While addiction has provided a sense of fulfillment temporarily, the recovery process will expose the illusion and open up a heart space for true healing and inner fulfillment to occur.
Principle #15 Commit to a Recovery Program:
Recovery programs provide a foundation to the first 14 steps for recovery to actually occur. Solid recovery programs provide a combination of individual coaching, group coaching, self-study programs, peer support, education, accountability, and guidance. Recovery programs keep you on track with your goals supporting you every step of the way.
Looking at the 15 steps above in what areas do you feel most and least prepared? In what areas can you build upon to ensure your long-term success? Being True To You will provide coaching, guidance, and lots of self-help lessons, but it is also up to you to construct a solid recovery plan within your community as well to include professional, family, and peer support.