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Creating a Personalized Recovery Program

While there are some common themes in addiction and recovery that many of us can relate to, we are unique individuals with unique stories, gifts, strengths, challenges and weaknesses, meaning that each of us will have our own experience with both addiction and recovery that is unique to who we are. Because no two experiences are the same, our approach to recovery shouldn’t be the same either. We’ll want to develop our own methodology that reflects our individuality and takes into account our specific needs. An important part of the healing process is creating our own personalized recovery program. When we have a program tailored to who we are as unique individuals, we’re more likely to achieve meaningful change and lasting sobriety. We’re finding solutions to our specific problems rather than trying to use a one-size-fits-all approach that isn’t sensitive to our particular challenges. Taking our recovery into our own hands and developing a program that is personally helpful means we’re giving ourselves more work, rather than blindly following a routine that was prescribed to us. For example, many of us aren’t receptive to specific addiction programs, even those considered to be tried and true by many people, and we’ll need to create our own program that works better for us, that reflects our uniqueness and gives us autonomy in our healing process. Creating a personalized recovery program for ourselves means we’re reclaiming our power over our health and being agents of change in our own lives.

Any recovery program entails hard work, discipline, willpower and resilience, but when we’re creating our own personalized recovery program, we’re challenging ourselves on an even deeper level. We’re accessing our inner resourcefulness and pushing ourselves to new limits. We’re taking responsibility for our well-being, something many of us have been afraid to do when living with addiction and mental health issues. We’ll need to hold ourselves accountable. We’ll be challenged to have faith in ourselves and faith in the process. When confronted with self-doubt, we’ll need to consciously remind ourselves of our own power.

To create our individualized recovery program, we’ll want to work with a trusted advisor to help us along the way. This can be a staff member of our treatment facility, a therapist, recovery coach, spiritual guide, sponsor, or mentor. We’ll want to stop thinking we can do everything on our own. We’ll need to humble ourselves and allow ourselves to be vulnerable, to open ourselves to the help and support available to us. We’ll want to take advantage of the wisdom of other people, those who’ve helped people recover in the past, who have expertise on the subject.

In order to do this important work, we can ask ourselves some key questions:

  1. What do I need from my recovery program in order to heal?
  2. What does recovery look like for me?
  3. What does my regular routine need to include?
  4. What mental, emotional and behavioral issues have been contributing to my addiction?
  5. What are my self-care practices?
  6. What is my spiritual practice?
  7. Who can I enlist for support?

Your recovery program might include things that aren’t traditional elements of recovery, that differ from the abstinence, therapy and support groups we’re more commonly used to. You might decide that you need daily prayer, meditation, exercise or time in nature. You may develop a spiritual practice that helps you maintain your sobriety, that becomes as important an element in your recovery as your abstinence. You might decide to continue working with a recovery coach after you’ve left the treatment facility, to help you adjust to the reintegration process and cope with the ensuing challenges of adjusting to your regular life. You might want to explore family therapy, in addition to individual therapy, to help you and your loved ones heal not only from the addiction but from the underlying issues that contribute to and exacerbate addiction. You might choose to communicate with a sponsor on a daily basis. You might want to explore holistic treatment modalities, such as yoga and energy healing, to help you heal on a deeper, more transformative level. You may decide that returning to work right away will be helpful to you, or you might choose to take more time off from work. You might opt to live in a sober house, receive outpatient treatment, or take advantage of other professional support services. You might choose to enter treatment again if you feel you need more time and support.

Many treatment programs work with you to develop a personalized, individualized recovery program tailored to your specific needs and goals. What works for one person may not work for another. It’s so important to be true to yourself and your instincts when creating your recovery program. You’ll want to take full advantage of the work you’ll be doing, rather than following a routine on auto-pilot that isn’t personally challenging for you and that pushes you to new heights in your personal development. Your needs may be completely different from the person next to you, so your recovery program should be tailor-made to fit you. For example, you might struggle with addiction to more than one substance, or you might be living with an undiagnosed mental health issue. You might be experiencing depression and anxiety along with your addiction, or another kind of co-occurring disorder. Your recovery program should take into account everything you bring to the table, to maximize what you’ll be able to take from it. Your growth and expansion can be taken to new levels when your program reflects you and your individual needs and challenges.

Riverside Recovery is here to support you in every stage of the recovery process. Our treatment programs include mindfulness-based relapse prevention and other recovery services. Call (800) 871-5440 for more information.