Posted by Steps to Recovery on December 14, 2012

In order to be successful in recovery, an addict or an alcoholic has to do many things. In addition to giving up substances, the person must do a lot of work to heal themselves physically, spiritually, mentally but most of all, emotionally. Without this deeper work or emotional healing, the risk of relapse is extremely high, and the ability to lead a fulfilling and authentic life is simply not achievable. The processes necessary to move away from the old lifestyle and into a more supportive new one are a part of introspection.

The first step in the process of introspection, or self-reflection, is accepting the past. A person needs to acknowledge that the behaviors they participated in while abusing a substance were a direct result of that addiction, and more importantly, that addiction was a symptom of something deeper. Once a person looks beneath everything, the harmful behaviors and actions, the addiction(s) and everything else and finds the root cause(s) of their addictions and the resulting behaviors, they can begin to work on all of it and heal themselves. Without this hard work, longterm recovery is almost certainly not possible.

To be successful in recovery, the addict needs to want something different. They need to be unhappy with their current situation and have a strong desire to live differently. Reflecting deeply and honestly on current relationships in one’s life can bring about great awareness around how a person is feeling and why they are where they are. It is important to look at how you allow your relationships to affect you and how you participate in them. Are your relationships supportive of your goals or are they unhealthy? Relationships are a direct reflection of a person’s internal climate. A big step in recovery is letting go of unhealthy relationships. In order to really understand the relationships you have with others, you have to take an honest look inside.

Being addicted to drugs and/or alcohol is a very difficult thing to overcome, but with a lot of hard work, honesty and determination to do the right thing for yourself, it is not impossible to overcome. Going through recovery you will learn tools that will help you do the deeper work, and taking an honest look within and acknowledging the deepest truths will allow you to regain control of your life and begin to live with authenticity and joy in sobriety.