From Addiction to Recovery, isolation to connection.
Recovery takes specific Knowledge, Insight, Commitment and consistent Effort; it’s a process, not an event. That is to say, any relapse, back sliding or returning to what was, can occur. It happens when someone is not actively and consistently applying this Knowledge, Insight, Commitment and Effort into their recovery on an ongoing basis. Like driving a car, recovery for many gets easier but even when practiced for years, the person in recovery needs to be aware of the dangers and behave in a way that keeps them safe. Addiction, like driving a car recklessly can be fatal for the addict and others.
Some people may feel that they have no choice around addictions but this is not true because they have; they do however need to apply Knowledge, Insight, Commitment and Effort to connect with that choice and the ability to carry it out consistently.
The motivation to change can be a confusing aspect of addiction and recovery for many people because they can hold both awareness and a desire to stop at the same time as a compulsion to continue. This can often be a feature of addiction and is referred to as ambivalence. This is further confirmation that an addiction is present. Some people have lost the ability to see clearly and consistently the damage that their addiction is doing and therefore minimise or deny the reality; once again, this is addiction. Denial and its many forms will keep the addict stationary and those around them confused, frustrated and affected.
The elevator of addiction stops at many floors and people don’t have to go down to the bottom to get off; however, if they do get off, recovery is still possible. Loss in an addiction comes in many forms and can be emotional, material, relational, psychological, health and reputation – any number of and sometimes all of these things can be repaired in recovery.
Addiction is less about giving something up but more about gaining something, such as a more meaningful, authentic and connected life. Addiction takes things away whereas recovery gives them back. This could include self-esteem, love for and from self and others, meaning, passion, ability to deal with life’s challenges, healing, and hope.
The Knowledge, Insight, Commitment and Effort mentioned throughout this article are best acquired and understood from and with others. These others might be a support group and/or a counsellor. Commitment and Effort can often relate to and be increased, by hope and a shift in belief – the belief that one can overcome an addiction. Once gain this can be found in connection with others. In some ways the journey from addiction to recovery is the journey from isolation to connection.
For help with addiction, addictions counselling and therapy see specialist addiction recovery website.