NEWS :: Why you don't have to be an addict to benefit from recovery...
"Addiction" has easily become one of the most stigmatized words in the English language. It invokes a sense of severity. It signifies a medical diagnosis, and it implies that a person needs intervention, soon, and before being lost entirely.
The amazing thing is you don't need to be an addict to benefit from the process of recovery. In fact its something everyone can benefit from because the key recovery principles of gratitude and trust, bring about remarkable changes in peoples lives and enable them to live life on life's terms
Whilst we recognize that the addict may have the life-threatening disease of addiction, many people have life-limiting habits, which can be just as bad as addiction because they hold them back from living their best possible lives
So, we’ll say it again to make it completely clear, you don't have to be an addict to benefit from the process of recovery.
The reality is no matter what walk of life you come from, or the issues you face, the self-reflective ‘recovery process’ can teach every one of us critical lessons. That's because the recovery principles benefit a person's mental, physical and emotional health and wellbeing, regardless of the "A" word, and there’s countless testimonies to prove it.
Recovery works hand in hand with community so it brings people closer together through shared understanding. It enables individuals to deal with the personal baggage they carry, and liberates them from the mental and physical bondage that holds them prisoner.
The recovery principles start out with a very simple affirmation
"Something needs to change, and it's probably me," and its the toughest step for many to accept.
The thing is we're trained from a very early age that ‘everything’s fine’, that we shouldn’t broadcast our problems, and that we should syphon our feelings.
If we’re not fine then we don't fit in, and this behavior has become so deeply engrained that subconsciously denial has become the ‘go to’ natural coping mechanism for many of us.
Deep down we know something's wrong, we know something doesn't feel right and that our life is off-kilter, but speaking out and trying to get help is fraught with problems and stigma, so we put on a brave face and apply the stiff upper lip and we battle on despite crumbling away on the inside.
That's where Celebrate Recovery Wigan (CRWigan) and ‘The Steps’ come into play.
The Steps originally identified by Alcoholics Anonymous have changed millions of lives and guide each person through the recovery process. They enable us to break things down and focus on living in the moment, and taking it one day at a time. By breaking down life’s bigger problems into smaller pieces, and discussing how we feel in confidential small group discussion, we slowly begin to confront, and remove, the bricks and boulders of life that we’ve collected over the years.
This simple recovery process, when supported by a Sponsor, accomplishes several things; we get to see our issues from a different perspective, we begin to understand how these issues have affected and changed our behaviour, with support we can deal with many of the issues and in doing so free ourselves from the past, and best of all we learn new ways to prevent the old habits returning.
As a consequence, we better ourselves and those around us. We learn that we’re not alone and so the isolating stigma that says only addicts need, or benefit, from recovery is weakened.
Taking a good honest look at ourselves, ideally before bad habits become destructive or addictive, can lead to liberating discoveries and changes which impact on everyone we come into contact with.
The fact is there is no negative side to recovery, and no person or age that doesn't benefit from it.
Anyone and everyone who undertakes the process wins, and like a pebble being thrown in to a pond the ripples of positive change radiate outwards from us and are passed on and so benefit others.
Recovery teaches us that its ok not to be ok, and that fine is not an acceptable adjective to express how we really feel.
Recovery means we are not the sum of our past and we’re no longer alone. Recovery provides serenity and freedom, ownership and strength, and a means to be the person we were always meant to be.
Recovery has nothing to do with addiction; it’s about self-evaluation and positive changes that lead us to a life we could only ever imagine was possible, yes, a life beyond our wildest dreams.
If you’d like to learn more about the recovery principles and how they can change your life for the better why not speak to one of the Celebrate Recovery Wigan team as we run courses for Adults and Children.