Recovery isn’t just one thing, nor does it happen in just one place. In order to effectively address someone’s addiction to drugs or alcohol, it is important to address all of the fronts that may have been affected in someone’s life. Recovery means change on the home front, the social front, as well as working under the guidance of caring, trained professionals. Addressing just one of these aspects rarely leads to prolonged success in recovery. Rather, it is important to address each of these different aspects equally in order to help maintain a healthy, sober outlook on the recovery process, and help mitigate the chances for triggers or a relapse.
Addressing Change on the Home Front
Someone’s environment plays a huge part in their recovery. As someone begins to address their addiction, they may have to make changes to their home in order to address a lot of their preconceived notions or associations with various aspects of their lives. For example, someone may be used to drinking alone in their basement. As a result, it may help to change the aesthetic of the basement in order to begin deconstructing these associations while establishing a new outlook in sobriety.
Addressing change at home also means changing one’s routine in order to establish a new normal. Someone’s routine may have been created, even subconsciously, around their ability and opportunities to drink or use drugs. While in recovery, changing this routine can be the best way to establish a daily schedule that is no longer conducive with the use of an addictive substance, and allow each person to begin to formulate a new schedule based on sobriety. Home is supposed to be a place of comfort, but if someone is housing reminders of one’s past substance use, it can also be a place that is filled with stressors and triggers that may hinder the recovery process. Even at home, it is important to constantly be assessing potential triggers and areas that may need to change in order to establish a new, healthy lifestyle in recovery.
Changes on the Social Front
Addressing social changes can be the most difficult, as it involves looking at someone’s relationships with friends and colleagues and how each of them may impact the recovery process. During this time, it is important to analyze how someone’s friends typically behave and assess if their lifestyles are amicable with recovery. If someone used to go with a group of friends to the bar after work, it may be necessary to either find a different social group that doesn’t involve alcohol as a regular outing or addressing the individuals in order to find something that they can do that would be a healthier alternative to drinking.
Making changes on the social front also involves finding new friends and social circles that may revolve around newly developing hobbies or interests. Finding a part of one’s identity in recovery is important as someone begins to exercise their agency over their future, and making necessary changes to existing social circles, or finding new social circles, are all a part of this process. It can be difficult to cut ties with former friends, but one’s recovery and health are paramount at all points in their lives, and this difficult decision may be necessary depending on the individual and their circumstances.
Expectations With a Professional
Professional guidance and regular attendance at recovery meetings are also paramount for recovery. These are environments where someone can continue learning new coping strategies and skills, while also practicing expressing their voice, as well as their vulnerabilities, during the recovery process. Professionals act as a source of guidance and can help address many of the emotional turmoils from an objective perspective–something that family and friends may not be able to provide. Regular attendance is necessary in order to continue not just living in one’s sobriety, but also progressing with their overall life goals while having a safety net to help manage all of the triggers and stressors that may come on a daily basis through the recovery process.
Addressing any of these aspects on one’s own doesn’t usually make for the greatest recovery strategy. Going to meetings without changing one’s behaviors at home or with friends likely won’t result in long-term sobriety, just as trying to tackle addiction and all of its trials without the help of a professional can be extraordinarily difficult. These changes can be hard, but they are a necessary part of the recovery process. There are a lot of changes involved in the recovery process, but that is the point of recovery. Sobriety isn’t simply learning how to say no to alcohol, it is learning how to make progress in one’s own goals in life while confronting the various ways that drugs and alcohol may have already affected one’s life.
Change is constant throughout the recovery process, but it is also necessary in order to create a holistic plan for recovery. If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, Alta Centers can help you to take the first step towards that change by providing a comfortable and luxurious place to begin the detox phase of recovery. With constant supervision for your medical and emotional needs, the professionals at Alta Centers can work with you to personalize a plan that is pertinent to you and your goals in recovery, while also addressing the various changes that you will face across all fronts in recovery. All of this is paired with a focus on community and all work together to establish new and creative ways to have fun during the recovery process through inclusion and outreach activities. For more information on how we at Alta Centers can help you, or to speak to a professionally trained staff member about your own, unique situation, call us today at (888) 202-2583.