In order for an addict or alcoholic to be successful in their recovery I believe there are 5 things that need to be worked on. Self-Esteem, Building a Recovery Program, Anxiety/Stress Management, Independence vs. Co-dependence and Daily Planning. Addressing these 5 areas forces an addict or alcoholic to confront the things about themselves that weren’t working, while giving them the opportunity to re-create themselves into the person they want to be, for the life they want to live. These 5 things are a huge undertaking that require the help of qualified and understanding individual, such as a counselor and a sponsor.
1. Self-Esteem: I would assert that all addicts and alcoholics have significant self-esteem issues. Not acknowledging that they have poor self-esteem is part of the denial system, a function of the ego, an attempt to not deal with the “inferiority complex” that lies within the individual. An addict or alcoholic has to learn how to authentically love him/her self.
2. Recovery Program: An effective Recovery Program needs to be put in place. Regularly going to meetings (daily in the early stages of recovery), reading recovery material, getting a sponsor and working the steps is vital to an addict or alcoholic overcoming and replacing old habits. Enrollment into the fellowship is often times crucial for the addict or alcoholic being to be able to transform their life. A recovery program has to be worked regularly. An active addict regularly revolved their life around getting high so someone in active recovery should be giving as much (if not more) time and attention to staying clean.
3. Anxiety/Stress Management: It is essential for an addict or alcoholic to learn tools that give them the capacity to handle situations that cause stress or anxiety. Having the ability to lower their stress and anxiety is critical for a lasting recovery, too often individuals reach for a substance as a quick fix to numb anxious or stressful feelings. The irony of course is that when the addict or alcoholic comes down from that quick fix they are left with more discomfort than they started with. Learning how to experience a deep state of relaxation through breathing, yoga, meditation or music, will enable the addict or alcoholic to be more balanced and centered and as a result able to make more appropriate decisions in and for their life.
4. Independent Living: The addict or alcoholic has to learn how to live life independently. Addiction often comes hand-in-hand with co-dependence. Though family and friends get caught in this cycle with loving intentions their enabling creates a crutch that prevents the addict or alcoholic from standing on their own two feet. Breaking a cycle is never easy and in the beginning may require having someone else teach the addict or alcoholic how to manage their life. There is great freedom in learning how to live life on life’s terms, rather than dependent upon other individuals to make it through.
5. Daily Recovery Plan: A Recovery Plan is a daily outline of what needs to be done or accomplished by the addict or alcoholic on a day-to-day basis. The daily recovery plan needs to be monitored by another individual in the beginning (such as a counselor or a sponsor) until the addict or alcoholic can self-manage the daily recovery plan. It is in the daily recovery plan that all five things discussed above are effectively managed.
At Enhanced Healing Wellness Center we provide Intensive Outpatient Programs and counseling services for individuals and families who need it. We are committed to creating a community where hope is restored and recovery is supported so our door is always open and we are home to AA meetings, Al-Anon meetings, Business Debtors Anonymous meetings and more.