How Do Those Who’ve Been in Recovery Long-Term View Their Journey?

How Do Those Who’ve Been in Recovery Long-Term View Their Journey?

The perspectives of recovery change along with the person, their experiences and their time in recovery. As with life, there are different stages and different time periods that bring up new lessons to learn – and oftentimes, you just have to take everything day by day. Many people find it beneficial to speak with alumni of their treatment program, so they can gain better knowledge and insight of what to expect as they embark on their own journey. Hearing other people’s experiences can be relieving sometimes, especially knowing that you’re not alone. You might also be surprised by some of the nuances that occur during recovery – and hopefully it will open your mind even further to trial and error, learning and growth.

One particular research study published in the journal Psychology & Health sought to understand perceptions of recovery from 21 individuals at different stages of their journey. There are many keywords/phrases that were used to describe each person’s experience with recovery:

  • Ups and downs
  • Changes
  • Non-linear
  • Spectrum between active use and recovery

One of the most common fears of those new to recovery is relapse, because they’re often afraid of failing. This may surprise you, but many of these people in the study expressed that relapse was a normal part of their recovery – along with relapse came a new understanding, a new process and a process of getting back into their recovery goals.

It was obvious from the narratives that change doesn’t take place overnight – even though these individuals had gone through a formalized treatment program, they did not feel “changed” after they completed it. Instead, it took them a lot of trial and error to see what works best for them. Coping strategies are incredibly important in recovery, and time and time again, studies have shown just how important social support is for a person’s success. Whether it’s close friends, family, coworkers or the healthcare team at your treatment center, find ways to connect. Have people nearby to cheer you on, as well as people you can look up to and reach out to if you’re going through a rough time.

Try not to have any expectations for your recovery. There is no way of knowing what your experience will be like until you do it. Find freedom in letting that outcome go and choosing to take each day one step at a time.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-campus, we are made up of 2 twelve-step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.

Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.