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Defining Successful Recovery

March 30, 2014

How do you define your success in recovery? Is abstinence what defines success? We reward abstinence with key tags and sharing on how we did it, 17516_569228179790223_698256011_nsometimes given cards, and well wishes. I think so much more goes into the success of a recovering person. Growth. Growth, I believe is the key element in a successful recovery. I used to believe that the more clean time I gained the more successful I became. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I have seen much in my life, I have done terrible things in active addiction and I have seen things that no amount of therapy can ever erase. How I react or do not react to situations to day I believe are what have caused growth in my recovery. A passion for life today has changed my urge and need to numb myself. The good and the bad experiences are worth experiencing sober today because that is what life entails. Life is full of wonderful and not so wonderful things. The not so wonderful things give us plenty to learn from and thereby encouraging growth. If life was always peachy, life would be boring and I could understand being numb for that,

Success in recovery. I think it’s different for everyone. What I do know is we cannot base it on our clean time, that means very little when we look at the bigger picture. Yes, success in recovery, I believe, is based in part on our ability to take bad situations, experiences our emotions; anger, resentment, sadness, etc. and then calm ourselves, reflect and look for our part, own it, and look for our lessons. It’s important we don’t hold onto these negative emotions. We’re always made to think that being angry is bad, sadness is wrong, we should pull it together and get on with it. Negative emotions are part of human existence and can sometimes be good. We should be sad for loss and angry when we’ve been wronged. The importance is to not let it consume us. We experience the negative emotion, acknowledging it, own it and then let it go, I for one like to write “hate mail.” I write all my anger, resentment, fear, etc. and then identify the situation specifically. Then I specifically express how it made feel. I use specifically twice because it’s important to really detail how their actions hurt you and exactly what feelings it caused you to have. I reread it, maybe even share it with a trusted friend or therapist and then I rid myself of the letter. I burn it, rip it up into tiny pieces and get rid of it. I call it a cleansing ceremony and I burn the pieces.

I’ve gotten a bit off topic but this is an example of growth in recovery and I consider growth a reflection of success in recovery. Love & Light ~Amy~

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