Your path from addiction through recovery is going to be a unique one. Although many men and women have traveled the road to recovery in the past, the experience you have in recovery will be solely yours. Only you know the experiences that might have contributed to addiction, and only you know the thoughts and feelings that may get in the way of your healing. Only you know what’s going to best support your sobriety, and only you have the power to create the change you want in your life. Recovery is going to be a personal endeavor, and yet at the same time, the support of friends, family, and professionals will make all the difference.
The point is that recovery is not the same for everyone. Recovery may include the following but not everyone will participate in every one of these services:
- Clinical treatment
- Faith-based approaches
- Peer support
- Family support
- Sober living home
- Psychological assessment
- 12-step meetings
- Behavioral therapy
- Motivational interviewing
You may find that you participate in one or more of the above services, and your experience of each of these will be common to others but unique in the way that it touches your ability to stay sober. In fact, recovery from addiction is a journey that millions of people around the world make and you may have experiences in common as you recover. Yet, your experience with recovery may be life-changing or not depending on a variety of circumstances. For instance, some people aren’t ready. Others may not believe in their ability to have a healthy life, while others may not believe that recovery is going to work. At the same time, some people recognize that something has got to change and they feel committed to recovery. It is this openness and receptivity to recovery that can facilitate change.
Whether you feel ready or not, if you’re participating in recovery, there are signs that indicate progress in recovery. For instance, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSA), recovery is taking place when there is an apparent continual growth and improvement in one’s health and wellness. And this apparent growth and improvement may in fact include setbacks. For instance, overall a person may be getting better, taking two steps forward, but on occasion they are also taking one step back. In the end, however, there are general signs of improvement.
In fact, because setbacks are almost expected in recovery, it’s also essential to have a community of friends, family, and professionals who will be there to provide support. A person will not be able to have the experiences of hope, resilience, acceptance, love, and encouragement without the assistance of a community. When a person feels welcomed as a part of a community, they feel better about themselves. They feel the strength and inspiration from the group.
Although recovery is an individual experience, it is the power of community that facilitates transformation.