Seeing Our Recovery as a Journey

When we’re in recovery, there are some shifts in perspective that can help us make our healing work as effective and as meaningful as possible. One of those mindset shifts happens when we start to see our recovery not as a fixed destination that we’re trying to reach, but instead as a journey that we can enjoy and appreciate as we go. We often have a tendency to be impatient with ourselves and with the recovery process. Because we’ve suffered for so long, we’re eager to finally be free of the self-torment, our addictive cycles, and the pain of our mental health issues. We often want a quick fix, the instant gratification of an easy solution, but we’re not always ready to do the work. We see our sobriety as the final goal, and once we’ve been sober for six months, or a year, we start to falter on our commitment. We become disenchanted with the recovery process, and we start to think we’re cured. We think we don’t need to keep doing the work, because we’ve already reached the final destination, our sobriety. The truth is, our journey is just beginning as we successfully enter sobriety. What comes next is all the work to sustain that sobriety, and that is just as important. For many people, it might be relatively easy to quit, but then when they’re hit with the temptation of an addictive urge, when their drug of choice is beckoning to them, they haven’t learned how to empower themselves to withstand it and stay strong.

When we see our recovery as a journey, rather than as a fixed destination, we take small steps, we create goals for ourselves, we continuously set intentions, and we work at our recovery consistently. The progress may be gradual rather than immediate, but because there is the added power of mindfulness and self-awareness, that progress ends up being deeper, more transformative, and longer lasting. We’re more in touch with ourselves because we’ve taken the time to understand ourselves and our issues. We’ve looked back at our journeys thus far to see what wisdom we can glean from its many lessons. We decide our peace of mind is our top priority. We reprogram our subconscious minds and retrain our thought patterns. We shed our limiting beliefs and take up self-care practices. We work on our self-love and self-acceptance. We heal our mental health issues. The transformation takes place internally, and then it extends outward to our life circumstances. The happier, healthier inner environment we’ve created for ourselves mean our thoughts are naturally more positive and peaceful. We’re better able to handle our difficult emotions, and we actively choose to be as positive, optimistic and happy as we possibly can. We work on having unconditional joy – the ability to find happiness, appreciation and gratitude in anything and everything, making joy part of our emotional foundation, regardless of whatever circumstances or conditions we might be affected by. Because our internal environment is now more positive, we start to manifest better circumstances into our lives. We attract healthier relationships. We have better financial stability. We feel less uneasiness, restlessness, worry and anxiety as we deal with our daily duties and obligations. We feel happier and more satisfied in life. We feel more fulfilled. We start to see all of the opportunities abounding that surround us. We meet people who can help us, we grow our networks, and we make important connections. We form lifelong friendships, support people in their difficult times, and in turn receive their support. We feel ourselves moving through our lives with more ease and grace. All of this, our internal healing and the resulting improved life circumstances, are part of our journey, and we’re better able to see all the changes and progress we’ve made when we see our healing as a journey, rather than as a finish line we’re rushing to cross.

When we see sobriety as a finite destination we’re struggling to reach, we forget to slow down and appreciate the beauty in each and every day. We’re too busy to remember our gratitude practice. We let so many things pass us by, and we take so much for granted. Moments of beauty and transformation that we could savor and hold onto, adding to our healing and happiness, are lost to us. We miss out on opportunities to go deeper, to get to know ourselves better, to be more in tune with ourselves. We lose the opportunity to transcend our limitations and become more aligned, to be the best, truest, highest versions of ourselves. Seeing our recovery as a journey invites us to make the most of every lesson, every opportunity, every blessing. We can see our mistakes not as evidence of our failure but as gateways to learning. We’re striving to develop and improve ourselves, not beat ourselves up for not being good enough. We see our journey as an opportunity for expansion, to work towards happiness. We can no longer direct our energy to self-deprecation, flogging ourselves with shame and self-punishment. When we see our recovery as a journey, even the most challenging experience becomes part of our growth and elevation, and we appreciate everything we go through for its ability to strengthen and uplift us.

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.