These are only a few of the Recovery Adjustments that you might face once leaving treatment, the list and lessons we learn in recovery are plentiful. Please feel free to comment below on what you might have learnt in recovery.
Allowing struggle. There is myth in early recovery that if you are struggling you not in recovery or you going to relapse. Holding up a front that you are doing well when you’re not, is dishonest. The people who matter will appreciate your struggle. Struggle is a big part of the process, working through it promotes growth and understanding.
Open-mindedness. Most people have an idea of what life is going to be like when they get back home, the expectations can be disappointing and damaging. Concrete ideas are dangerous and should be left alone. The open-mindedness we seek in the program filters into our lives in more ways than just in the steps. Life changes and with that we need to change, attempting to resist change creates a dynamic for relapse and resentment. Stay open and remember you are not in control.
Willingness. There is a subtle dynamic that is detrimental to recovery and that is resistance. Resistance comes in many forms, the one we are talking about here is slight. “Statements like I don’t feel like going to my home meeting” or “I don’t need to speak to my sponsor everyday” are signs of resistance. Here is the catch, you can miss that meeting, you might not call your sponsor and nothing detrimental will happen, straight away that is. But 3 months down the line, your home group is no longer your home group, you are avoiding certain meetings because your ex-sponsor will be there. The slope is slippery and most who begin the fall, don’t stop until it’s too late.
Expectations. We have seen many leave treatment with false expectations.
- Everyone will trust me now that I’m sober
- My family need to understand me
- Everyone and everything must change now that I’m clean/sober
- Life is going to be easy
- Everyone will welcome me back with open arms
We think that because addiction is a selfish condition that the focus on self doesn’t necessarily leave, the recovery expectations are usually self-centred and in some ways the selfishness is important because the focus on recovery needs to come first but it’s a thin line when you are expecting others and the world to change because you are now sober. Resentment, anger and disappointment will feature in your early recovery if you don’t have realistic expectations of what early recovery life will be like.
Again, be open to change, approach life with humility. Don’t say sorry and expect thing to go back to normal, act sorry, make right with your behaviour. Allow mistakes, grow, change and feel free.
The greatest gift of recovery is the new freedom we experience.