Why do addicts struggle in early recovery? - by SHARP Recovery Solutions 20 Feb 2017

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Moving from the culture of addiction to the culture of recovery is a challenging journey that requires physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual recovery capital to ensure that we have the resources to support us in our recovery.

In order to fill the void that is left by abstaining from harmful substances and behaviour, it is important that we start to develop tools and techniques that aid our recovery. By giving us the objectivity of “mindsight” to be able to observe our feelings, thoughts and behaviour in a potentially harmful situation, we are better equipped to develop new thought patterns, so that we are able to overcome early-stage cravings and urges.

By understanding the importance of spiritual principles and determining what our personal values are, we can start to feed our souls. Instead of pursuing destructive behaviour patterns that are prevalent in substance abuse, we should try and develop healthy pursuits, explore new interests and identify which elements of our lives need to cultivated. People in early recovery often experience difficulties because they are not prepared for the feelings of loneliness and emptiness they experience because of they have lost their “best friend”. According to psychiatrist, Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, people in recovery go through the stages of grief, like those experienced when losing a close friend or family member. People will most likely experience denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance during the process and may be unaware that we are actually grieving. Again, by understanding and acknowledging our situation, we are able to more effectively deal with obstacles we may confront in the early stages of our recovery journey.

Personal learning and self-development will ensure that we are more empowered, moving towards a life of purpose and fulfilment in the later stages of recovery. Goal setting and action planning are skills that can be consciously developed to aid forward movement in recovery.

By joining a Recovery Wellness Program clients are encouraged to design their own recovery plan and identify and capitalise on their personal strengths, while be aware of areas of weakness and possible obstacles that might jeopardise their early recovery. By engaging in adult education in an environment of positive psychology, solutions-driven coaching and peer support, one is given a safe to explore recovery in an honest, empowering program.

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