A hugely important part of the recovery process is taking the time to reflect on our treatment. We want to give some thought to how effective our program was for us, whether we feel we benefited from it, whether or not we were able to take full advantage of it. It can help us in our recovery work to think about whether our treatment center was a good fit for us, whether our needs were met, whether we had the support we needed, whether we received everything we were looking for. This reflection is important because it helps us learn more about ourselves and our unique recovery story. It helps us connect with ourselves on a deeper level, by teaching us more about our strengths, weaknesses, coping skills, triggers and stressors. We do ourselves a great service by taking inventory of each step of the process in our recovery work, and by checking in with ourselves about what things were successful and what things could have used improvement.
An important part of moving forward is reflecting on the past. For many of us, our time in treatment was a pivotal and formative time in our recovery journeys. It was often the catalyst for our deeper transformation. We may have been able to get sober before on our own, but our time in treatment provided an even stronger foundation for us to be successful. We became more equipped to handle all of the challenges that naturally arise during recovery – the temptation and addictive urges, the overwhelming stresses of our daily lives, the self-doubt and fear that have a way of creeping in. We gain an extra confidence that comes from doing the work. We’ve increased our mindfulness, developed our self-awareness and strengthened our intuition. We feel more connected to ourselves, and more in tune with our emotions. We feel better able to control our chaotic thoughts. We feel we have a better handle on our mental health issues. Treatment center help with all of these things because they offer more than just a sober living environment. They provide the stability and security of professional help in dealing with our medical detoxification process and the accompanying withdrawal symptoms. They provide comprehensive therapy programs, including family therapy to help us work through the family issues contributing to our unwellness, and trauma therapy to address our unhealed trauma. They teach us mindfulness practices and other self-help skills. When we take the time to reflect on all the work we did during treatment, we absorb the lessons even more effectively and holistically. We’re reminded of all the things we’ve learned, and our reflection can help us reinforce and support the education we’ve already received.
For many of us, treatment was the solution we needed to our addiction problem. For others of us, though, treatment wasn’t enough. Sometimes we didn’t receive the support we needed. We may not have found the right treatment program for us and our particular addictions and mental health issues. We might not have chosen the right center for us and our unique needs. We may not have been placed with the best fit for a therapist for us. We may feel as though our needs weren’t met sufficiently. When we’re able to reflect on our treatment experience, we’re addressing the things we want and need for ourselves, rather than suppressing or ignoring them. We’re shedding the habits of avoidance that we often grew accustomed to during our addictive cycles. We’re facing ourselves and our needs, and we’re prioritizing making sure our needs are met, rather than demeaning ourselves as we so often did as active addicts. Reflecting on our treatment means we’re empowering ourselves and believing in ourselves. We’re telling ourselves that we deserve to have the best treatment experience possible.
Reflection is an important part of the process of understanding ourselves and of coming to terms with ourselves. Very often we were confused about where our addictions originated, or why they formed in the first place. We weren’t necessarily aware of the emotional issues we were dealing with. We had low levels of awareness and mindfulness when it came to our internal issues. Our emotional intelligence was often relatively low. We were so overwhelmed trying to cope with the everyday challenges of our addictions and mental health issues that we never got to the root causes of our emotional difficulties. We were detached from our inner selves, and this disconnection was often a huge contributing factor to the development of our addictions. When we’re able to reflect on ourselves and our experiences with treatment, we learn about our individual challenges and our core issues. We learn more about all the things we were doing in our daily lives that were exacerbating our mental health issues and perpetuating our addictions. Our unhealthy self-destructive tendencies and misguided coping mechanisms, for example, are some of the things we uncover when we reflect on our time in treatment. We’re able to see the ways in which we’ve grown and progressed. We’re able to see our huge development, from the addict who entered treatment still actively using, to the person in recovery who is thriving and flourishing in sobriety.
If we try to move too far ahead too quickly and skip the step of self-reflection, we actually put ourselves at more risk of relapsing, because we haven’t taken the time to process where we are, what we’ve accomplished, and what work we still need to do to keep ourselves on track.
Riverside Recovery is a drug and alcohol treatment center offering a full continuum of care for people suffering from addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. We understand the emotional challenges of addiction recovery and are here to support you. Call us today for more information: (800) 871-5440.