Addiction is a complex disease and the idea of being “in recovery” or being “a recovered addict” is somewhat objective. Recovery is unique to every individual and if you’re wondering whether you’ll ever fully recover after addiction, you’re not alone.
This is one of those questions that doesn’t have one single right answer. If you’re in recovery, you already know that maintaining long-term sobriety takes continuous effort, so will you ever feel like you’re “normal”?
A lifestyle of addiction is far from normal but now that you’ve put that behind you, here are a few things to consider as you embrace your new sober life.
Every Recovery Journey Is Different
Since recovery is a highly individualized experience, each person may define it differently. According to one survey, most people who claim to be in recovery define it is being a continuous process that never ends.1 Meaning, most people in recovery don’t believe they can swing back and forth from casual drug or alcohol use to sobriety. Instead, they choose to maintain continuous sobriety.
However, addiction recovery is also about much more than just being sober. You become a different person than who you were when you were addicted. You are continuously growing and changing to become a better person and you are empowered and encouraged by your sober peers.
For most people, addiction recovery requires continuous effort, work, and intentional healthy behaviors. This extra effort leaves some people wishing they could just be “normal”. Regardless of how you view it, being in recovery is a lifelong process and you are not static. You will grow and change as a person and so will your of your recovery journey. You can’t compare it to others’ and it’s okay to have different opinions about what recovery is to you.
Do You Ever Really Recover After Addiction?
Starting over fresh after addiction isn’t easy. Sometimes, you may feel like the issues you’re experiencing today, such as unemployment or a broken family, are a direct result of your addiction. Or maybe you feel like your life doesn’t stack up to the successful, happy lives of other people around you.
Just because you continue to face struggles related to your addiction doesn’t mean you’re destined to be an alcoholic or drug addict for the rest of your life. And it doesn’t mean that your life is inferior to anyone else’s.
Everyone has their own personal issues, whether it’s drug addiction, depression, an unhappy marriage, or something else. It can be very dangerous to compare yourself to others, especially when you may not have the whole picture. Sure, someone else’s life may seem to be perfect, but behind the scenes, that person could be dealing with a whole range of issues you had no idea about.
In the end, your perception of yourself and others may not always be accurate, especially if you are inspecting life through a lens that is tainted by your past or by the person you used to be. Being free from the chains of your substance abuse means you have the chance to make your life into anything you want it to be, despite your past.
Moving on From the Past
Drug and alcohol addiction has a way of hanging over your head long after you’ve chosen to leave it behind. For example, friends, co-workers, or family members may still think of you as a person who abuses alcohol or drugs, despite your continuous efforts to make better choices. Or, you may constantly be reminded about your history of addiction when you run into old friends, drug dealers, or walk by the liquor store on the corner where all the employees know you by name.
These constant reminders of who you were back when you were addicted can make it difficult to move forward. While it’s important to remember your past, it’s also essential to move on from it. The way you behaved and the decisions you made while you were addicted may be hard to accept, but remembering those things can be a great reminder of how far you’ve come and an excellent motivator to keep moving forward.
Full Recovery: Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual
No matter how you define it, full recovery from drug and alcohol addiction is a physical, emotional, and spiritual process that involves the whole person. You can stop drinking alcohol or doing drugs and but if you struggle with other issues like low self-esteem, shame, or loneliness, it can prevent you from experiencing a fulfilling, sober life.
Ongoing treatment like therapy, counseling, sober living, and peer support can help you move forward after addiction and achieve physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. With the right support, it is possible to stop using drugs and alcohol and to feel happy, satisfied, and successful in life.
If you need help sustaining your sobriety and you’re ready to make a permanent change in your life, call Eudaimonia Recovery Homes today. We can help you succeed in your sobriety with recovery support services and sober living homes in Austin and Houston, Texas.