How can we best take action in recovery to overcome an addiction drinking or drugs? What is the best way to take positive action and make it work for you in your life?
What is the real secret to recovery?
In my experience, the key to recovery is to take massive action on a regular basis. In fact, you might take massive action, coast for a while, then get organized, set a new goal, and take massive action again.
Every single day of your recovery does not have to be super intense, growth oriented experiences in order for you to grow as a person and remain sober. However, you do need to keep having super intense growth oriented experiences if you want to make it work in the long run.
Here is the process:
You get clean and sober. I always recommend detox and inpatient treatment for this part. It worked for me and I see it work for others (though it is no magic bullet either!). But it is safest to seek professional recovery services in order to get detoxed.
Next, you find support systems and start learning how to live a life of sobriety. In the first year or two, you are normally relearning how to live your life without self medicating all the time with your drug of choice. This is a process. You are learning. It takes time and it takes effort. Many people do not make it past this learning phase.
But after this learning phase in your first year or two of recovery, you will eventually reach a point where you basically now know how to live without relapsing. This does not mean that you are superman or that you could never possibly relapse in the future, it just means that you have learned the basics of recovery. You are done with “early recovery” and now you are learning how to “live in long term recovery.”
You suddenly realize that “recovery is for the rest of your life.”
In order to get to this point, you had to take massive action in your life. You have to change everything, as they say. This took a huge commitment, tons of energy, and raw determination on your part. You had to be willing to learn lots of new things, and keep taking positive action, over and over again.
Anyone who makes it past the first few years of recovery would agree with that assessment. It takes massive action to make it through early recovery.
Now what about long term sobriety? How do you take massive action then? How is it different?
Well I would argue that you still end up taking massive action in long term recovery, but the focus and timing is a bit different.
In early recovery, it is like a long steady push up a hill. Every day is a struggle for a while. You have to push, push, push in order to avoid relapse and get the results that you want in early recovery. Daily meetings, studying recovery literature, writing about yourself on a regular basis, and so on.
In long term recovery, I would argue that you slow down a bit, but still have sudden bursts of massive action. This will come in the form of new goals for yourself in recovery. For example, running a marathon. You might decide to do this as a way to get healthy in long term recovery. So you take massive action for a while, and achieve your goal. Afterwards, you might coast for a while, but always be planning your next major goal you want to tackle. It will always be something that results in tremendous personal growth for you. If it did not, then you would choose something else.
Thus you still take massive action in long term recovery. But it becomes more focused and purposeful, with periods of rest and reflection in between.
My experience anyway…..