Short-term success in recovery is rather straightforward. It requires getting and staying sober for a short amount of time. Truthfully, this is something many active addicts are able to do. In fact, it’s one reason many refuse to refer to themselves as addicts; because they believe they can quit at any time, and they’ve usually successfully tested that hypothesis.
However, being able to quit for short periods of time doesn’t determine whether a person is or is not an addict any more than temporarily not having chest pains determines whether or not heart disease is present. Quitting isn’t the hard part—it’s staying sober and getting what is called real recovery that takes effort.
In other words, staying sober is just the tip of the iceberg. Real recovery is about dealing with the physical, spiritual, emotional and/or psychological disconnect within the whole person, rather than just the resulting disease of addiction. As such, there are necessary components to employ and maintain in an effort to last in your new path.
Here are the 5 key components to help you achieve long-term success in recovery.
Taking responsibility for your own actions and lack thereof is key to successful recovery. It’s not just about making amends for obvious grievances. It is a realization of the responsibility we have to others, ourselves and the Universe. Additionally, it is the opposite of living in ego; the ruler of active addiction.
Having integrity is an integral part of recovery. In active addiction, lying, manipulation and rationalizing negative behavior or thought-processes is rampant. To employ honesty, sincerity and ethics (with others and yourself) is to align with recovery rather than relapse.
3. Life Skills
Acquiring life skills is essential for successful recovery. A vast majority (if not all) life skills are inherently void during active addiction. Therefore, it is necessary to know how to be fully self-sufficient in recovery. Moreover, it is necessary to learn more than mere living skills but gain life skills; tools that assist you in thriving rather than merely surviving. So, learning healthy coping, communication, boundaries, etc. is key.
4. Personal Growth/Healing
Seeking personal growth and healing is most vital with regard to long-term success in recovery. Staying sober and avoiding relapse is much easier when you begin to deal with the underlying issues and triggers. Healing yourself holistically is the difference between simple sobriety and real recovery.
Because there is often a defensive response to the latter statement, consider this analogy; when a Type 2 diabetic gets their sugars under control by way of insulin but continues to eat poorly and fails to exercise, health issues will continue to arise and manifest in other forms of disease. So, even though the symptoms of the disease (diabetes) appear to be under control, the lifestyle isn’t. And, even more, the dysfunctional reasoning behind the lack of self-care is still very active and detrimental.
Addiction works the same way, as it too is a disease. And, if the underlying issues and holistic lifestyle changes are not made, real recovery is not achieved. Overall health issues will continue to pop up and manifest in other forms of dysfunction; something real recovery prevents.
Because we are not merely human beings having a spiritual experience but spiritual beings having a human one, we must incorporate spirituality as a daily practice to keep ourselves holistically well. We cannot leave out any part of our being when addressing any disconnectedness that fed or damage incurred in active addiction. As such, seeking and maintaining a spiritual practice is necessary to avoid relapse and experience not only success in recovery but a sense of awakening and evolving to a new you.
Applying these five keys to success in recovery not only works to prevent relapse, but aids in building a strong sense of character and being while evolving your soul and moving you onto the next part of your life’s journey.