Recovery is an experiential process that takes time. Getting clean and sober evolves to becoming less about abstinence and more about emotional, mental, and spiritual change. For many, recovery begins once the individual understands what caused their addiction and that they were unaware of how that affected them. Unfortunately, lack of self-awareness, insecurity, and feelings of isolation is the result and are often the internal precursors that lead to addiction. Finding your purpose in life while in recovery can be very helpful to not only becoming sober but staying sober.
Among people aged 12 or older in 2020 with a past year SUD, 38.4 million people diagnosed with addiction who needed treatment did not receive it. (SAMHSA)
When Does Someone in Recovery Become Satisfied and Stable?
When a person recovering from addiction does experience satisfaction with their life is -again-NOT after years of clean and sober time but AFTER spiritual awakening as insight and understanding the concept of humility have been fully experienced. That is how someone can overcome the disease of addiction. Since it is a self-talking disease that centers on the mind and emotions where the individual is never satisfied. Most people who suffer from addiction are under the delusion that their current position in life is not good enough for them and that they must have something, someone, or a different circumstance to be happy. This tendency is not their fault. Addicts and alcoholics are severely wounded people simply trying to feel better and ultimately find a means of survival. Addiction stems from trauma, neglect, and or abuse during childhood and is the central influencer of addiction.
What Are Positive Markers for Someone in Recovery?
Unlike counting months and years, which is essential to acknowledge, the more significant indicator of solid recovery is when someone can feel fulfilled and have peace of mind while clean and sober. This requires intense psychological shifts in how the person perceives themselves and others. People who have evolved in this manner in their recovery are in touch with how their thoughts and behaviors affect their well-being and others. One primary marker many recovering people share is accepting that they have a disease of the mind and emotions that do not go away. For many, managing their condition through other interests that become addictions themselves is common. Alternative habits which are not exactly harmful but have the reputation as leading to relapse include:
- Hyperfocus on jobs and careers
- Fixation on exercise and physique
- Overeating or undereating
- Shopping and spending money
- Co-dependence on romance and dating
How Does Someone in Recovery Make Progress?
Recovery is not about success in work, school, relationships, or finances. Instead, healing from addiction means evolving how the person understands their purpose in life, not related to achievements and possessions but peace of mind and stability. The National Institute on Drug Abuse explains what recovery is:
Recovery is a process of change through which people improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential. Being in recovery is when those positive changes and values become part of a voluntarily adopted lifestyle. While many people in recovery believe that abstinence from all substance use is a cardinal feature of a recovery lifestyle, others report that handling negative feelings without using substances and living a contributive life are more important parts of their recovery. (NIDA)
Addiction Recovery and Finding Your Purpose
Recovery is difficult and often requires a person to make many attempts at it before discovering their personal needs are that are used to drive them to use drugs and drink alcohol. However, once a person uncovers the causes for their drug and alcohol abuse, they can see what they need to feel at ease and what to aim for in recovery. Many people in recovery attain new and exciting careers, regain family relationships, and get material possessions or status. Of course, these are great things, but these have nothing to do with recovery. Instead, recovery is a process of spiritual change and forming a new character that is humble, honest, and lets go of old ideas, stories, and opinions. For most people in recovery, their purpose is to surrender their will to a higher power or God to be free of the old self that used substances to cope.