What Is Recovery?

If you’re new at treatment or if this is your first time getting sober, you might be confused by the term “recovery.” While there are many ways to explain the process of recovery, it’s important to understand that recovery is a more broad definition than being sober or being abstinent.

While at first they might seem like the same thing – recovery explains more than simply not using. Recovery is a journey and a way of life. When you get sober and start your journey of recovery, you’re starting a process of healing and new way of living.

According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), these are the values of recovery:

  1. “Being honest with myself."
    Honesty is a core value of recovery. Our Treatment Director, Eric Spagenski, emphasizes, “Honesty, even in the little things, is huge in recovery.” At first, this might be simple honesty that your use of drugs and alcohol just isn’t working any more – over time, you’ll have the opportunity to go deeper with honesty in your recovery, which can be a transformational experience in all parts of your life.
  2. “Being able to enjoy life without drinking or using drugs like I used to.”
    If this is your first time in recovery, it might seem like you’re going to lose the fun in your life when you ditch drugs and alcohol. This is simply untrue. There are millions of people in recovery across the globe – and many in your community. In recovery, you will find friends, enjoyment and a new life that allows you to enjoy new things and experiences without the looming cloud of addiction. It gets better – trust and enjoy the process.
  3. “Living a life that contributes to society, to your family or to your betterment.”
    Have you ever missed a payment or lost a job or skipped a family event because of your use of substances? Recovery means you don’t have to do those things anymore. You’ll realize there is fulfillment in contributing – at work, in your community and in your family. Recovery allows you the opportunity to enjoy the depth of live in being fully present and fully involved.
  4. “Being the kind of person that people can count on.”
    Addiction doesn’t care about your relationships you’re your commitments. But unlike addiction, recovery cares. Recovery can help transform you into a person people can trust, and someone who will show up and be there when they say they will be there. Recovery gives you the opportunity to be dependable, reliable and trustworthy.
  5. “Giving back.”
    The 12th step of Alcoholics Anonymous is often summarized as “you’ve gotta give it away to keep it.” While there are different ways to talk about giving back, recovery simply gives you the opportunity to do so. To help other people, to give back to your community and to be a kind and generous person in your life.
  6. “Striving to be consistent with my beliefs and values in activities that take up the major part of my time and energy.”
    There may have been times when your addiction caused you to act against your values and beliefs. Recovery will help you live consistently with the beliefs you hold close – including your faith, your morals and the standards you set for yourself. The more aligned you are with your core beliefs, the better you’ll feel from the inside out. Recovery gives you this opportunity.

Recovery is so much more than simply not using drugs or alcohol – it’s a way of life, and it will give you the ability to experience depth in a way that addiction did not. This recovery quote says it best: “Recovery must come first so that everything else I love in my life does not have to come last.”

Recovery will change your life, both who you are as a person and the way you live every day. At Common Ground, we believe in you. We will meet you where you are because we’re confident recovery is possible for you.

Whether you’re struggling personally or know someone struggling with a substance use disorder, Common Ground offers outpatient treatment in Rochester, MN and the surrounding communities of Winona and Red Wing. Contact us today!