Contextualizing Recovery - Looking Back to Look Forward

Understanding addiction and how it has affected each individual person can be a difficult task. Addiction isn’t something that anyone sets out to develop and many develop without the person realizing that it is happening at first. When someone realizes that there may be a problem with drugs, alcohol, or any other substance, they will have to recontextualize the entire relationship that they have with that substance and how it has affected their lives. While a deeply introspective process, this kind of recognition is necessary for understanding not just where someone is in their recovery but can also inform the goals someone sets for themselves in where they want to go.

Understanding the Breadth of Addiction

Just as addiction can develop silently, the sufferer can often be unaware of how far-reaching the effects of addiction can go. Coping with addiction is a very personal and internal journey and leaves little room for the person suffering from addiction to acknowledge how it has affected other people. Part of recovery is realizing not just how addiction has impacted the individual, but also how it has affected the people around them.

This can take the form of realizing the monetary stress that it has caused, as well as the various roles that family members have had to play in order to maintain a sense of normalcy through addiction. Family members and loved ones may have had to tread lightly in order to not upset someone suffering from addiction or take extra household responsibilities upon themselves in order to keep the home functioning.

It is possible that someone also doesn’t realize the number of times that they would call out from their jobs or be less effective at work overall while dealing with an addiction. Looking objectively at someone’s attendance and performance may shed more light on the extent to which addiction can affect every facet of someone’s life. Looking back on all of these facets can be a very difficult experience, but it is one that is necessary in order to begin developing a plan for the future.

Deconstructing the Positives

Alcohol, drugs, and any other addictions usually develop by being used as a means of escape for people. Substance use can provide immediate, positive feedback that can make someone feel good at the time. Because of this, it is common that many people develop a positive correlation between their usage and their successes and happiness in life. Understanding addiction is understanding that this isn’t necessarily the case and that many addictions are causing more harm than good at the end of the day.

Addiction can still affect many people, even in the face of their own success. During these successful times, such as promotions at one’s job, it is important to remember that often these successes are accomplished in spite of one’s addiction and not because of it. Addictions create these positive connotations and develop by continuously rewarding someone for using, despite the reality around them.

Beginning to Look Forward

Knowing the various ways that addiction has affected someone is the first step in understanding the various negative effects that addiction has brought. Knowing how family and loved ones have had to adjust their lives, as well as the effects that addiction has had on one’s professional life, can all inform where someone needs to start in their recovery.

No two recovery paths will look the same and only by looking back can someone plan for how to move forward. For some, it will start with a sit down with their loved ones and begin by reconnecting the family as a unified front. For others, it will involve looking at their own self-care habits and social circles and analyzing one’s professional life and goals.

Proving commitment to this change can take time, but the first step is outlining the goals that someone has for their own recovery and their own visions of what a better, sober future may look like for them.

Informing the Goals

Being able to recontextualize someone’s addiction as a negative influence on their lives is a very profound step in understanding how someone’s life can be better with its absence. Simply setting goals and looking forward are huge motivational tools that can keep someone striving for the future that they want in their sobriety. By building on these core aspects, looking back can help inform the various short and long term goals that each person may have. Looking back may be painful and full of feelings of shame or guilt, but using that information can make looking forward more hopeful than ever.

No part of the recovery process is going to be easy. Looking back on how addiction has affected each and every aspect of someone’s life is a difficult thing to do, as it brings up many potential feelings of regret, guilt, and shame. However, detoxing and addressing these effects of one’s addiction is paramount in being able to move forward with your recovery. At Alta Centers, their luxurious, comfortable facility can help make this transition through detox as comfortable and personal as possible. Each program can be individualized depending on each of your unique needs and the professionals can work alongside you to create a path for recovery and goals that are unique to you. For more information on the various ways that Alta Centers can help you, or for more information about the recovery process and addiction as a whole, contact one of their caring staff today at (888) 202-2583.

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