Growing in Your Recovery

Growing in Your Recovery


recovering addict meditating

“How can we grow in our recovery and start living again?”

So you’ve gotten yourself clean and sober–the question is, what next? Well, now you have to start growing–for real, in more ways than one. You have to expand your horizons and start cleaning up even more of your bad habits. Life is starting to get really good, so don’t stop now. Your only question should be: what should I work on first? This is recovery in action. The positive changes you’re going to make are the reason you got clean and sober to begin with–you didn’t get sober to be miserable, did you? So it’s time to take some action to improve your life. After all, living recovery is personal growth.

There are plenty of people in various recovery programs that are content with just staying sober…they are walking through their lives like zombies, essentially functioning on autopilot. They are using their “acceptance of self” as an excuse for their own laziness. These folks are managing to stay sober and stay out of trouble, so they pat themselves on the back and see no reason to challenge themselves to change further; to go farther with their growth, to take the next step in their recovery.The philosophy behind this website is to do just that–to push yourself beyond basic recovery and find a much better life for yourself. At six years sober and counting, I have found “recovery through personal growth” to be a viable method of recovery, in and of itself. In fact, I would argue that anyone who finds meaningful recovery is living out the main tenants of this “growth philosophy,” regardless of what program they claim to be working or how they define their own recovery method. In other words, the real “winners” in recovery are always working on their own personal growth, in all areas of their lives–regardless of what program or methodology they claim as their recovery mechanism.

Set Goals for Yourself

So the idea is to start taking some action–action that results in a better you. Probably the easiest way to get started with this is to set yourself some goals and start working towards them. Setting goals and working towards them is arguably a great way to live–and it is certainly a step up from simply existing on “autopilot.” A good idea at this point would be to sit back and assess your life. For most of us, we will have two types of goals here: first, there are positive places we want to go with our life, and certain things we’d like to achieve. Second–and more obvious at first–are the blocks we have in our lives. Bad habits that are left over from a lifetime of abusing ourselves. Perhaps we are unemployed and in financial trouble, or maybe we are overweight or out of shape or still smoking cigarettes. Or perhaps you want to overcome fear of driving, or your relationships are a mess, or perhaps you flunked out of college and are thinking of going back.

Give yourself a half a minute to prioritize these goals of yours. Write them down. Write down some long term goals–picture where you want your life to be in five or ten years. Then come up with some short term goals. Consider various categories, such as education, employment, financial status, health, weight, relationships, spirituality, emotional stability. Consider exercise and nutrition, sleep habits, quitting smoking. Ask yourself, “how can I be a better a person?” and then ask yourself “What do I really want?”For further reading regarding goal setting as a means to personal growth, I would highly recommend this article here.Good luck with your new life!

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