There are common factors in successful recoveries from addiction. While the obvious is that a person is no longer using substances, simple abstinence isn’t the only sign. Successful recoveries involve exploring underlying issues and committing to significant changes.1
1. Commitment to Honesty
People struggling with an active addiction experience a certain amount of self-delusion when they’re using. Self-delusion is a coping mechanism, albeit a harmful one, that permits them to believe that their habit isn’t that serious or that they can quit using drugs or alcohol at any time. In reality, the disease of addiction has a firm grip on their lives that’s harmful and destructive, and they can’t stop on their own.
Honesty helps people stay in recovery by stopping the self-delusion, which includes shedding such thoughts as “one drink won’t hurt” or “I can take drugs once and still be okay.” Commitment to honesty helps people in recovery deal with the hard truths. They understand that any instance of drinking or drug use can open the door to addiction.
2. Commitment to Personal Responsibility for Successful Recoveries
Life comes with responsibilities to ourselves, our loved ones, our co-workers and society at large. We’re responsible for our own behaviors and how our actions affect others around us.
Personal responsibility is a part of all successful recoveries because when mistakes are made, they’re more easily admitted and dealt with. Successfully recovering people take responsibility for their own actions.
3. Commitment to Recovery Meetings
People need support to sustain successful recovery. Going to meetings provides consistent support from peers who are also dealing with addiction and its aftermath. Anything that life throws at group members is shared and dealt with during meetings. Celebrating sobriety milestones together are also part of successful recoveries because they’re motivations for success to continue.
4. Commitment to Yourself
All successful recoveries are built on strong foundations. Commitment to yourself means striving for strong foundations through good mental and physical health. If you don’t commit to your own health, you won’t be at your strongest. If you’re physically or mentally unfit, the risk of relapse rises.
Also, neglecting your health leads to a decreased ability to meet responsibilities and obligations. Your pledge for improving your health and strength will help you meet the challenges in your sober journey.
5. Commitment to a Higher Power
Spirituality is part of many successful recoveries. People in recovery often believe in a higher power that’s greater than themselves. Recovery taps into the higher power that resides within, accessible only through regular meditation based on respect for self and others. Studies show this power has positive effects on reducing addictions and improving mental health.2
It’s key to commit to a higher power and to yourself with honesty and personal responsibility. It’s also important to attend meetings for the needed support to build and keep these commitments. When you understand what all successful recoveries have in common, you can experience your own.