What does recovery really mean?

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Recovery Process
Recovery a process not an event.

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Recovery is a process of becoming better with steady growth.


Recovery is a common term which is used by addicts and professionals. We [Utah Family Therapy] even use it but only because this is what people seem to understand; however, we want you to change your thinking of what recovery means. We want you to stop thinking that recovery means addiction can be crushed, killed and destroyed.


Because this type of thinking attacks the survival part of your brain. You have spent years convincing your limbic system that you need porn, drugs, sex, gambling, etc… to survive. This is because these substances cause you to unnaturally release a host of chemicals helping to calm the body down, even though it is brief. The crush, kill destroy attitude actually puts you in conflict with your own self, causing the addiction/negative behavior to intensify.

I received a paper that describes recovery in this way:

“… is a process of change through which an individual achieves abstinence and improved health, wellness and quality of life.”

I decided to turn to good ole Webster to see what their definition of recovery is:

: the act or process of becoming healthy after an illness or injury : the act or process of recovering

: the act or process of returning to a normal state after a period of difficulty

: the return of something that has been lost, stolen, etc.

Based on these definitions the common thread is the process of change either to a normal state or better.

I love this definition because it does not say it’s a permanent change. Addicts are drawn to the allure of being fixed … NOW and never returning to it. Notice what both definitions say … “Process”, it is an ongoing process of changing the way we are.

The process of recovery is changing from where we are today, to a better state tomorrow. It is a process of doing daily but simple activities that will make our lives better every day … that’s all!

If we look at recovery in this way, we should all be in recovery 🙂

Stay focused on the simple daily steps, which is the process we are talking about. Remember that fighting “IT” (the addiction) can make “IT” stronger because you have trained yourself to use this negative behavior as a means for survival. We do not need any of these negative behaviors.

… It’s True …

Try it. Go without porn, gambling or whatever the negative behavior maybe for a day, a week, a month, a year and you will not die.