There are many stages of addiction recovery, and this is a process that never truly stops. The goal of our outpatient addiction treatment programs at Renaissance Ranch are to not only provide the tools to tackle a current addiction struggle, but to reinforce these tools so that they can be recalled at any time well into the future.
For many people, the time after they leave active involvement in a rehab center is the toughest part of addiction recovery. There are fewer support structures available, and more chances to relapse. Let’s look at a few tools to help carry addiction treatment with you no matter where life takes you.
A Process, Not an Event
There’s a myth out there that addiction recovery has an endpoint; that at a certain point in time, you simply give up an addiction, and it’s gone forever. This couldn’t be further from the truth, and this kind of mindset can be a major obstacle to true recovery.
In reality, recovery is an ongoing process where we look to replace the motivations and underlying causes that lead us to addiction with more organic, less harmful motivations. Graduating a recovery program is just one stage of this process, and far from the final one.
Motivation is a tricky thing. Even people who are supposedly “unmotivated” don’t technically fit that term – they’re still motivated, but just for different things that many people consider bad. Within addiction, consider two types of motivation: Intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation.
Intrinsic motivation is personal motivation – the desire to do something because it seems good, right or appropriate. Extrinsic motivation refers to external pressures and influences. Both can be useful, but long term addiction recovery can only be achieved when a person is truly intrinsically motivated. External factors can drive us at times, but they’ll quickly fall apart as a long term support structure if there’s no personal desire for change.
True recovery comes with emotional peace, or “emotional sobriety” for people struggling with substance abuse. Emotional stability means we no longer need to run away from problems, or hide from them using our addictions. Instead, we’re ready to take on these obstacles head on – ready to feel our feelings, if you will. This focus on the underlying triggers of addiction will help build the foundation of long term recovery.