Recovery is not a destination; it is a journey requiring patience, perseverance and resilience

Stock image, St. George News

CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — If only substance abuse disorder could be solved by one visit to a doctor or an occasional over-the-counter medication. Unfortunately, the life-long fight with addiction or alcoholism is not that simple.

At Lion’s Gate Recovery, we understand there is no magic solution to an individual’s addiction problem. Even those who have obtained long-term recovery are still vulnerable to the perils of substance abuse.

Recovery is a journey. By that, I mean a constant action that requires engagement on a daily basis. Individuals are able to subdue their substance use disorder by being an active participant in their own recovery.

The replacement of addiction is the constant pursuit of living and thriving in a life without substances through hard work, practice and time.

Recovery is a paycheck, not a cakewalk

One of the most avoided aspects of recovery is the work it takes to consistently maintain it. You may hear recovery described as a gift, but it is rather a paycheck received from tireless efforts and hard work. No one can give an individual recovery; they must work for it.

Working on one’s self, career, relationships, education and more all fit into the scope of recovery — it is the constant pursuit of self and community improvement. This is why so many addicts are turned away from recovery in the early days; they begin to realize the amount of work it is going to take to get their lives back on track, yet this time they will not have the crutch of substance abuse to help them along the way.

Active substance abuse is living life in the wrong direction, and early recovery can overwhelm with a daunting amount of lost time to recover. Those who achieve success in recovery do so because they put in the constant work it requires to maintain. Anyone who’s found the fulfillment that recovery brings knows it’s no cakewalk and requires work. 

No quick fix

In a world filled with instant access and immediate gratification, recovery is just not one of those things. There is no way to undo the wreckage and trauma of substance abuse with some applications on a smartphone. As alcoholics and addicts live in a world of instant gratification and impulsivity, recovery is fundamentally the exact opposite.

It’s going to take time to build a life of recovery. To live a life of recovery is to understand that the solutions we seek don’t arrive when needed. Hard lessons — years in the making — tend to bombard the fragile beginning of recovery. Patience and resilience are only learned through each new problem of life. The solution materializes in long delays or odd ways.

Learn and learn again

Most substances users have driven the vehicle of their life in such a wrong direction that many of them have to learn – or relearn – tasks that range from simple to vital. Some have never known how to properly cook a meal or pay bills on time, and for others, the crucial life skills, like building healthy relationships with themselves and the people around them, seem like such foreign concepts.

The process of recovery requires the kind of willingness for an individual to admit that life prior to addiction was years of learning the wrong way to live.

Going to a residential treatment center like Lion’s Gate Recovery is how addicts and alcoholics can begin the healing needed to begin relearning life. 

Written by SHANE P. CURRIN, Lion’s Gate Recovery.

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