Keys to Recovery: Protecting and Supporting the Process

Recovery from drug and alcohol abuse is no easy task, but it certainly is an admirable one with a long journey of ups and downs. Recovery would not be possible without a strong support system and faith in oneself that the other side will be better and full of hope. Today, we are going over some of the keys to recovery and how you can support yourself throughout this tedious process. 

Spiritual Health

When recovering from addiction, many people turn to a higher power since this allows a sense of release from negative emotions. Often, we can harbor negative emotions and feel a strong sense of guilt and self-hatred for some of the things we have done in our lives, but turning to something bigger than ourselves can relieve us of this need for control and the associated anxiety that comes with control. While higher powers may be most commonly associated with religions, higher power can be whatever you define it to be. For some people, doing things they love can be a spiritual experience and can provoke a sense of purpose. An example of this could be learning and mastering an art of some form. Spiritual health can be defined as whatever brings you fulfillment. Religion can be incredibly helpful as well as keeping faith in yourself that you have the ability to recover, heal, and feel more empowered on the other side of recovery. 

Good Emotional Health

As we grow up, we may be socialized to behave in particular ways or to bottle up certain emotions. In some contexts, behaving in a particular way is appropriate, but we want you to release yourself from certain stigmas you may have grown up believing. Experiencing a variety of emotions is completely normal and expected of your human nature. Holding on to your emotions only pushes them down deeper, yet, they often demand to be felt. Releasing what you are feeling allows you to get closer to healing. A Harvard Study suggests that suppressing your emotions can lead to premature death from all causes. Bottling up also adds extra physical stress on your body, affecting aspects of yourself such as memory, blood pressure, and self-esteem. 

Learning to release your emotions in a healthy way will allow you to heal faster once you have come to accept that your emotions are valid. Checking in with yourself and beginning to regulate your emotions is not easy, but doing so will allow you to have compassion for yourself during your recovery process. Good emotional health may also allow you to improve the relationships with others in your life that you may have disregarded while in the midst of your addiction, rebuilding connections worthy of having.

Continued Care (Therapy)

If you’re someone who is afraid to discuss their emotions or feel as if they do not have a go-to support system for their issues, therapy is a fantastic place to discuss what is on your mind. Talking issues through in therapy allows you to discover how you can best overcome and/or deal with the things you are feeling. A good therapist will build a relationship with you and be a part of your journey. Since therapists are trained to help individuals in situations much like yours, they may offer expertise and perspectives you have not previously considered. New perspectives can prove to be remarkable for one’s sense of self. Sometimes it can be easier to talk to a complete stranger who is free of judgment and expectations of who you are when compared to talking with someone you love and have remained close with. Therapy is a great option and can be a vital tool during your recovery.

Good Physical Health

Getting in shape may be a cliché, but it’s a cliché for a reason. Exercise is fantastic for one’s health both physically and mentally. Aesthetics aside, getting in shape gives you something to work towards improving while also serving as a distraction. There are a plethora of studies that show the mental health benefits of working out such as reduced anxiety, reduced depression, higher self-esteem, improved sleep, improved mood, and increased energy levels to name a few. Oftentimes, withdrawal comes with a variety of symptoms that exercise can help negate or lessen the impact of, such as difficulty sleeping, poor mood, high stress, etcetera. Since exercise releases endorphins, regularly working out can also release natural highs within the body which helps one transition to sobriety. The best workout is the one you will do, so find what works for you and stick to a plan. Some different workout formats and suggestions include:

  • Hiking
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Running
  • Barre
  • Dance Fitness
  • High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
  • Kickboxing
  • Weightlifting
  • CrossFit
  • Cycling
  • Power Yoga
  • & more!

Positive Peers

Sometimes in life, we surround ourselves with people who may not have our best interests at heart. Occasionally our peers pressure us, enable us, or suck the energy out of us and make us feel worse when we are around them. It’s time to leave these energy vampires and enablers behind and begin spending your time with those who truly value you and leave you feeling happy before, during, and after your time together. Setting necessary boundaries to protect your mental health is imperative and will allow you to move on in your recovery process much more seamlessly. You are the company you keep around and staying around positive influences who will respect your journey in sobriety will make a world of difference. 

Family Support

Some of the strongest support systems come from the unwavering support your family provides. It is worth reaching out to them to have a safety net and support system. We oftentimes need to hear hard truths to keep us moving in the right direction. A family that is brutally honest while remaining compassionate is important. If you happened to push your family away while in the midst of your addiction, or if they chose to distance themselves from you, it is worth considering reaching out to your family for a check-in while on your sobriety journey. 

12-Step Supports

12-Step Support groups are a very common method for overcoming addiction and programs that follow the 12-steps have helped millions overcome their addiction. These steps are:

  • Acceptance
  • Hope
  • Faith
  • Courage
  • Honesty
  • Patience
  • Humility
  • Willingness
  • Brotherly-love
  • Integrity
  • Self-discipline
  • Service

If this sounds overwhelming, take a deep breath. These 12-steps can be done in whatever order feels most comfortable and natural to you. Recovery involves taking one step at a time and understanding that the process is long but necessary. ​​12-step programs are completely customizable and have worked for millions of people. If you are interested in a program, we at Transcendence Treatment Center are happy to provide resources for long-term support, just reach out to us at 854-222-3773. 

Other Types of Support Groups

If 12-Step Recovery does not sound like the right fit for you, there are various other forms of support available to you! Whether you are joining an outpatient program, individualized program, partial hospitalization program, motivational interviewing, an anonymous group, religious support group, peer-based recovery group, or another alternative, there are always options available. At Transcendence, we offer a variety of options while always keeping the person at the center. We understand that not everything can be a one-size-fits-all approach which is why we work to understand you and your needs above all else. 

Working towards the aforementioned topics will allow your recovery process to be easier while giving you grace, education, new goals to look forward to, and a strong support system around you. We wish you the best of luck on your journey to recovery. If you are located in the North Charleston (S.C.) area and would like extra help along your journey, we at Transcendence Treatment Center are always there for you. Please reach out to us at 854-222-3773 or check out more information on our website if you wish to transcend to the best version of yourself. 

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