Recovery is Transformation
Recovery, on the other hand, is a process of progressive transformation of the entire person: body, mind, spirit, emotions, and relationships. Because recovery comprises much more than just abstinence, it can actually begin prior to abstinence! In fact, some recovery may be necessary in order to be willing and able to attain abstinence from all addictive processes. Recovery is similar to the process people go through when they move from one country to a very different one. They have to learn a new language, new mores, new ways of eating, and new ways of relating to others. This process takes time, effort, and support, but ultimately becomes very comfortable. Recovery involves addressing all the underlying elements which drove the addiction: restoring neurotransmitter function; eating a pro-recovery diet; healing underlying emotional trauma, shame, guilt, and resentment; learning news ways of dealing with stress and painful situations; learning how to have fun without addictive behaviors; and creating a healthier way of relating to self, others, and God. Recovery cannot be done in a vacuum. It takes time and occurs in stages. Once this new way of living has become comfortable and is consistently maintained and supported, a return to addictive behavior is quite rare.