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Recovery Concepts That Can Empower Your Life

This post is about addiction recovery approaches that are realistic and make a lot of common sense.

This is a guest post by Patrick of the Spiritual River, a website about overcoming drug and alcohol addiction. When I said “yes” to Patrick’s idea for a guest post I had no idea it would be such a meaningful addition to Aim for Awesome. I really enjoyed this – you will too. Read on!

Now most of you reading this are probably not addicted to drugs and alcohol. So what does recovery have to do with you and your life? A lot, if you are willing to take a look at a few simple concepts and apply them to your own growth and development.

So let’s take a look at how the principles of recovery can potentially help anyone, including you:

Recovery Demands Creation

Most people probably believe that overcoming addiction is about putting down the drugs and the alcohol. They believe it is primarily an act of elimination, thinking that success is driven by leaving the chemicals alone.

This is not the case. Recovery is creation.

The recovering addict or alcoholic is literally creating a new life for themselves. Because they have been using drugs and alcohol for so long, their default state of being is to abuse chemicals. So if they are not actively engaged in creation, they will revert back to their former life. This is called relapse.

Recovery from drugs and alcohol is the continuous reinvention of oneself. Regardless of what recovery program a person might follow, they are involved with creation. This will generally involve holding a vision for one’s life and then striving to meet that vision. The whole key to a new life is through purposeful creation and passionate living. Without this, the addict will simply revert back to their old ways.

How you can apply this: Anyone can use creation in their life. Anyone who is just floating through life without any real goals or purpose should consider the idea of creation as a means to help them live with more passion and meaning in their life.

Perhaps you are in a dead-end job or you are stuck in a relationship that is going nowhere. Whatever your situation is, you are ultimately responsible to create a new life for yourself. No one is going to come along and hand you a brand new life. You have to create it for yourself.

If you have a goal or vision for how you want your life to be then start moving towards that goal with positive action.

Mandatory for Overcoming Addiction – You Must Aim for Awesome

Everyone who tries to overcome an addiction fails on their first try. This is true nearly 100 percent of the time. This is because nearly everyone underestimates what it will take to beat their addiction.

With most things in our life, a modest effort gets us modest results. Not true with recovery, as it is strictly a pass/fail proposition. If the addict takes just one drink or drug, it’s all over. Back to square one. So a modest effort in recovery almost always results in a huge failure. Our mistakes are amplified due to the nature of addiction.

The key then, is to use the principle of overwhelming force. If you want to beat addiction then you have to aim for awesome. Whatever you think it is going to take to keep you clean and sober, triple that effort and add 10. Now you are in the neighborhood of the kind of effort it really takes to beat an addiction. This is one of the “secrets” of beating addiction – that it is a lot of hard work and you have to take action and make a supreme effort.

How you can apply this: If you have an ultimate goal or vision for your life then clearly outline it and then attack it with overwhelming force. Don’t settle. Use unlimited time and energy with which to pursue your highest goal. Don’t just aim to meet your goal… completely dominate it with overwhelming force. This is how the big stuff in life gets accomplished and that goes for beating an addiction as well. Use the idea to tackle your own goals.

Overcoming Addiction Requires Raising Your Awareness

Success in recovery demands a higher awareness. Why is this the case? Because addicts used drugs for so long that getting high became an automatic response to everything. You can’t walk through the minefield of recovery with this same level of consciousness and expect to be successful. Therefore, recovery demands that you raise your awareness.

This is why most recovery programs suggest techniques such a asĀ meditation and personal inventories. In active addiction, medicating ourselves with chemicals became a very barbaric activity, similar to an animal that devours food. In recovery, mindfulness reverses this trend and elevates us to a higher plane of existence.

How you can apply this: Regardless of what you’re trying to accomplish in your life, raising your awareness can only help you to achieve your goals. Along with regular mindfulness, practicing some honest self-assessment can also help you become more effective by examining your strengths and weaknesses.

Recovery Encourages a Holistic Approach

Addiction is a complex disease that affects the whole person. It doesn’t just alter someone physically, but it also breaks them down mentally, disrupts their social bonds, kills their spiritual side, and disrupts them emotionally as well. Addiction affects the whole person. So it makes sense to treat the whole person.

Spiritual solutions fall short. A holistic approach is required to properly treat the recovering addict.

For example, most addicts in recovery underestimate the power of exercise and the profound effect it can have on their well-being. It’s not initially clear to an addict how regular exercise can help them to stay clean and sober in the long run unless they jump in with both feet and start doing it. It is only in retrospect that the true benefits of a holistic approach become clear. When we grow and progress in all areas of our lives, it has a cumulative effect that far exceeds our expectations. This is the power of the holistic approach.

How you can apply this: Regardless of what you’re trying to accomplish in your life, raising your awareness can only help you to achieve your goals. Along with regular mindfulness, practicing some honest self-assessment can also help you become more effective by examining your strengths and weaknesses.

Recovery Necessitates Giving Back and Helping Others

There is a saying in traditional recovery programs: “You have to give it away to keep it.” This means that we have to carry the message of recovery to other addicts if we are going to stay sober ourselves. The reason for this is because the act of reaching out and helping others with addiction is so incredibly powerful in helping ourselves. In particular, helping others in recovery:

1) Reinforces what we need to do ourselves to stay sober. Helping others is both teaching and learning.

2) Produces good feelings for having helped someone out.

3) Forces us to grow ourselves in order to set an example for those we are helping.

4) Boosts our self esteem and helps us to care for ourselves more.

It is not clear to most people how helping others will directly benefit themselves, but in doing so, all of these benefits and more are realized.

How you can apply this: Reach out and help others. This will benefit you as listed above and also give your life deeper meaning and purpose. When you help others it makes a real difference and that becomes very empowering.

Bringing it all together

So here is the helpful take away for you:

1) Create. Use creation to make a new life for yourself. Strive towards your vision.

2) Aim for awesome. Use overwhelming force to dominate your goals.

3) Raise your awareness. Use mindfulness to guide you in your life.

4) Use a holistic approach. Grow in all areas of your life.

5) Help others. That’s the win-win that empowers everyone.

Patrick is the author of the Spiritual River. Give him a visit if you want to learn how to help an alcoholic.

2 thoughts on “Recovery Concepts That Can Empower Your Life

  • at 10:47 pm

    First of all, this is one of the selected few posts I choose to print out. Well done. I agree with all and every point; but specially with point 2. It’s only when I have decided to diet for life that I have started to see consistent results.


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