Substance use and mental health disorders often combine into a destructive disorder that rapidly intensifies. The illness is pervasive and mean-spirited. It appears intent on first capturing its victims and then killing its captives. Although the client is capable of reasoning, the co-occurring disorder stubbornly refuses to be reasoned with. It is corrupt, selfish, and bitterly entrenched in pursuing its own agenda.
Recovery, therefore, cannot be haphazardly pondered or passively pursued. It must be seized with fierce and complete commitment. Clients who successfully maintain sobriety do not see recovery as a mindless wander through the park, but as a vital battle to be won. Those who win this fight possess three, necessary traits and take it upon themselves to live by the following code.
Successful recovery is built on integrity and honesty. This critical trait becomes both the starting point and the foundation of a successful recovery journey. Understanding the problem, admitting its depth, and acknowledging the consequences that followed, pushes the start button on your entire recovery process. Much of addiction is built on dishonesty. Deception, minimization, denial, and rationalization block one’s mind into a pattern of defeat that keeps you bound and stuck. Honesty breaks this pattern and moves you into recovery.
Admitting you have a problem helps you begin to deal with it. Of course, you didn’t cause that physical defect you were born with, or cause the child abuse you received at the age of four. You didn’t sign up to be born to certain parents, in a particular nation, or raised within a specific income level. You are not responsible for the hand you were dealt, you are only responsible for how you play the hand. The hand has been dealt; the decisions you make will shape your future. Let go of the injustices of the past and the resentments that may have piled up. Take responsibility to do whatever it takes to create a better life for yourself and the people you love. Addiction demands that you stay the same, but recovery allows you to exercise your will, make your own decisions, and change your life.
Establish Positive Connections
Stay close to those who support your recovery and distance yourself from those who do not. Being part of a closely connected social group is one of the best ways to increase overall contentment, build accountability, and establish your recovery. Connections with like-minded people offer camaraderie and encouragement. You may need to limit your contact with those who do not support your recovery goals. Belonging to a positive, social network will help you feel understood, accepted, and supported. And of course, it’s not just being helped by others but also, when you help someone else, both of you move forward together.
Recovery is a journey. Enjoy the ride!