July 18, 2012

What is recovery?

Recovery goes much deeper than just stopping the use of drugs and alcohol. Recovery is becoming aware of our dysfunctional traits and thinking and doing the work to change and heal. This will then allow us to be our best self; the most genuine person with the highest and purest of intentions. That’s the mark of striving for and then capturing what recovery really is.  

I have spoken to many individuals who believe that the act of stopping the drinking and drug abuse is enough of an effort to claim the title of recovery. This isn’t the case. How many times have you met someone with who thinks like this, only to leave his or her company with a sense that something isn’t right? Perhaps the person's energy seems negative or the tone feels a bit abrasive.

Typically, people who just stop the alcohol or drug use and do not delve deeper into the process of recovery are referred to as “Dry Drunks.” When someone approaches getting sober as more than putting down that drink and embraces this as an opportunity to look at and then work on character defects, then recovery can be sustained and overall an easier task to accomplish.

When I was in rehab, I was told that addiction was tied to much more than my abuse of drugs; that underneath my need to quiet my mind with substances was a psychology that needed some work. Once I understood this and then was provided the tools to see where my stinkin’ thinkin’ at times was inappropriate, I was able to tackle the pursuit of recovery head on.

For me, finding recovery has been a beautiful thing and a wonderful experience to better understand who I am. I have learned the value in vulnerability and the bliss that comes from being honest. These traits aren’t something that once you have them, then all your work is done. It’s quite the contrary. The more you dig down into your work, the more you may find that there is a lot of additional work that needs to be applied to maintain a healthy lifestyle and a happy self.   

The real deal of recovery is a lot of work at times, dropping off that pretentious and fictitious front-end that you might think the world expects from you. When you finally find, develop and then show the word what the real you is made, it's such a reward. The payoff far exceeds the challenges of the work needing to be done.

I am blessed to have found and approached my own recovery this way. Having the opportunity to be as real and genuine as they come has had such an impact on me and the people with whom I come in contact.

Recovery is awesome if you are willing to do the work to maintain it. Not only do you get to put that drink down, but you get to pick up a chance to be the person that your Higher Power had always wanted you to be. That’s a beautiful thing!

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