What does recovery from addiction mean?

The Road to RecoveryWhen we consider getting in to recovery from addiction, we find ourselves wondering what exactly the word “Recovery” means.  In the dictionary, Recovery is defined as, “Restoration or return to any former and better state or condition.”  For many of us, this explanation makes a lot of sense.  None of us wanted to become addicted, it just happened.  Along the way we got further and further away from the things we stand for, compromising many of our beliefs and morals in the process.  It’s not uncommon for us to do things that we may have said we’d never do in the past, only to continuously lower the bar for ourselves.

Prior to getting in to recovery from addiction, many of us tried a multitude of different approaches: drinking only on the weekends, not using drugs and just sticking with alcohol, “the marijuana maintenance plan,” only drinking or using drugs with friends, only using alone, not using at night before we have work the next day, only drinking in the evenings, or stopping for a period of time just to see if we can.  This list can go on forever.  Sometimes, the thought of quitting drugs or alcohol never even crosses our minds as a possibility!

The first step towards getting in to recovery is asking for help.

The truth is, if we could quit drinking or using on our own we would probably would have done it already.

For most of us, the toughest step towards recovery from addiction is deciding to make a change. Many times we feel very conflicted about giving up whatever it is we’re addicted to even though the consequences are so apparent! Change isn’t easy for anyone, and when getting in to recovery, many things need to change – who we associate with, how we spend our free time, and the ways we cope with stress are just a few things that need to change.  The more we try to hold on to our old behaviors and ways of doing things in recovery, the more challenging things will be.

Recovery from addiction isn’t an event that takes place — it’s a process.

Overcoming active addiction requires making major changes in the way we live, deal with problems and how we relate to others.   A program of recovery is a foundation upon which new lives are built.  On this foundation, each person has their own lessons to learn.  However, we cannot do this alone.  We firmly believe that with the right support, recovery from addiction is possible for anyone.  There is no magic formula, treatment center, or solution that will work for everyone.  Figuring out where we went wrong in our lives, what brought us to addiction and what issues we need to address is an important step in the path of recovery.  Different people need different resources to tackle the core causes and conditions of addiction.

Life beyond addiction really is amazing.  Things that we didn’t believe we were capable of suddenly aren’t so unrealistic.  We can look ourselves in the eye and feel confident about the decisions we make.  If you’re ready to change your life and get on the road to recovery it’s time to take the first step and ask for help.