Beating Addiction With Intention and Commitment
The Paradox of Addiction and Recovery
Decades of scientific research have settled the fact that alcohol and substance use disorders are chronic neurological diseases complicated by an array of individual experiences and vulnerabilities; communal, cultural, and societal influences; and genetics and family history. Yet personal responsibility and commitment are viewed as essential to recovery.
Overcoming an addiction to alcohol and substances then requires both the management of a chronic disease, and the use of behavioral and psychological tools and social support to progress through recovery. For those who see themselves as mere mortals, who are powerless against uncontrollable urges to consume the drug of their choice, they cannot imagine mustering the strength and will to succeed. For many, recovery and sobriety seem unreachable, elusive, and unattainable. It is an arduous journey, the work of a lifetime, that demands so much from addicted individuals.
But the journey through recovery and sobriety begins with only two steps—an authentic intention to cease using alcohol and substances, and a personal commitment to maintain recovery and beat the addiction. The overarching goal, organizing principle, and bold vision of a life without alcohol or substances serve as powerful motivators and propulsive forces to keep going no matter what—despite setbacks, obstacles, challenges, and relapses. Keeping one’s eyes on the prize—a rewarding life sustained without alcohol or substances—helps those in recovery manage their illness and maintain sobriety, as they continue to create a self-actualized life beyond their expectations, using their talents and newly developed skills.
The Road To Recovery
The road to recovery is a difficult one that demands faith in one’s ability to change, hope and optimism in the process, discipline in submitting to the process, and courage to stay the course. But despite the hardships, the road to recovery, to turn over a new leaf, is worth taking because the alternative either diminishes the quality of one’s life, robs it of meaning, or endangers it altogether.
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