Recovery from substance addiction is not a sprint but a marathon. With the body and mind readjusting to the absence of substances, you will likely experience changes that differ from stage to stage. Every adjustment to a new phase takes a shift in perspective. Being open to a shift in perspective may be beneficial to your recovery.
In the addiction recovery field, recovery is defined as “a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.” This definition recognizes that recovery may take place through many pathways. A holistic approach always involves a shift in perspectives on the part of the recovering individual.
Stages of Change in Addiction Recovery
Recovery experts have identified four main stages of behavioral change for people recovering from substance addiction. The first is known as a pre-contemplation stage, when people still live in denial about the harmful consequences of using drugs or alcohol. Enjoying the pleasurable side of the experience, they are not open to advice or entering treatment.
A shift in perspective happens when people move into the next contemplation stage. This is when they begin to think about cutting down or quitting their substance use. Seeing increasing negative impacts on their physical and mental health, people are open to learning about the possibility of treatment. However, some might be in this stage for many years before moving to the next one.
The contemplation stage is critical for early intervention. People in this stage typically benefit from non-confrontational and non-judgmental information from family, friends, and professional interventionists. Confrontational methods often worsen the situation and shut down the communication conduits.
The third stage begins when a person plans and prepares for treatment. They are actively thinking and making decisions about cutting down on their substance use. Finding a counselor or recovery interventionist to work with is an excellent strategy to shorten the learning curve.
The next stage focuses on taking action and making a real change. With good preparation and a strong support system, this can be an exciting time to finally achieve sobriety. This may happen in a treatment facility where medically monitored detoxification is provided. Meanwhile, this is also a stressful time, as recovering individuals battle withdrawal symptoms, urges, and cravings.
Lastly, the most uncertain stage is about maintaining progress and preventing relapse. People who have achieved early sobriety may grow complacent with time. They might relax and lose alertness about certain triggers and stressors. The old lifestyle can catch up with you, eroding your guardedness. Sometimes relapses happen, and one returns to the stage of action again.
Each transition between stages takes a shift of perspectives, which happens only when you are informed by more education about the effects of substances and how your body and mind react to them. This is why patience and humility are needed. There is so much the medical community has learned about the brain science around addiction. Being open to the many proven methods used by professional interventionists is always the best strategy.
Experiencing a Paradigm Shift in Recovery
The major paradigm shift in recovery from substance addiction is that you move from a single-dimensional lifestyle to a multi-faceted one. Recovery changes an individual’s whole life system, including body, mind, spirit, and community. You learn self-care practices, family relationship skills, self-determination in education and career, and how to seek help from health professionals.
A well-planned and diligently-implemented recovery plan involves using many resources such as trauma-informed care and gender-specific treatment programs. A strong recovery community provides the best repertoire for this kind of paradigm shift. You should participate in mutual aid groups by sharing your experiences that may help others. Giving back to the community helps further boost your self-esteem and chance of long-term recovery.
A New Perspective on Life
In time, you will gain a whole new perspective on life in general. You are again empowered to be in control by making choices to uphold your sobriety and participation in the community. You learn to forgive yourself and not be ashamed of your imperfections. Your actions are guided by honesty and humility. Learning to celebrate small victories, you embrace a positive outlook on life.
This long journey has much to offer apart from a positive mindset. It allows you to re-establish meaningful relationships built on sharing of human vulnerabilities. Together, you and your loved ones will experience the mystery of life when brokenness is woven into beauty.
People who are going through treatment and recovering from addiction are likely to experience changes that differ from stage to stage. A holistic approach always involves a shift in perspectives for the recovering individual. At Capo Canyon Recovery, near Mission Viejo, CA., we believe in a holistic, incremental path to sustainable and long-term recovery for our clients. Our trained health professionals have experience treating addiction at all stages. We know what each stage requires, both in terms of physical health and mental health. Depending on your needs, you can benefit from both our inpatient residential care and outpatient, long-term care programs. With an in-house chef, luxurious beds, and an onsite organic garden, we’re here to help you on your journey to sobriety. With Capo Canyon Recovery, you can rely on us to help you achieve long-term sobriety. We coach you to cope with upcoming challenges. Start your journey with experienced recovery experts today. Call us at (800) 804-8714.