Heroin. Cocaine. Alcohol. Depression. Bipolar. Or perhaps some combination. Whether you are suffering from an addiction or mood disorder, or you are a professional who treats individuals with addiction and/or mood disorders, you are well aware that recovery is a difficult process that takes time.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines recovery as follows:
“Recovery from mental and substance use disorders is a process of change through which individuals work to improve their own health and well-being. They live a self-directed life and strive to achieve their full potential. The guiding principles of recovery are:
* Recovery is person-driven;
* Recovery occurs in many pathways;
* Recovery is holistic;
* Recovery is supported by peers and allies;
* Recovery is supported through relationships and social networks;
* Recovery is culturally based and influenced;
* Recovery is supported by addressing drama;
* Recovery involves individual, family, and community strengths and responsibilities;
* Recovery is based on respect; and
* Recovery emerges from hope.”
These are important principles to understand. In addition, the following is a working definition of recovery and remission from a Fresh Hope perspective, in which recovery is defined as “the process of finding hope, purpose, and meaning for one’s life. Stated another way, recovery is experiencing a meaningful life, in spite of any chronic brain disorder, mental illness, or any kind of mood disorder.”
Notice that both definitions present the over-arching message that hope and restoration of a meaningful life are possible.
Recovery is about wellness. It’s about moving towards the life you want versus coping and surviving as you are now. It’s about wellness versus coping, thriving versus surviving, living a rich meaningful life versus a broken and pain-filled life.
It’s hard, and it’s hard to go through it. But keep moving ahead no matter what.
Sources: SAMHSA -- https://www.samhsa.gov/
Fresh Hope -- https://freshhope.us/about-fresh-hope/