Later Recovery - from the Recovery Learning Series at SupportNet.ca - Resources For Your Recovery.

Recovery is learning to enjoy life - without the use of alcohol or drugs that alter mind or mood.

It is treatment for the condition of addiction - an approach to the challenges of life - and a path to personal growth.

Recovery requires us to learn - about the true nature of addiction.

It may be personalized - but it has its necessary Principles and its Ways.

The Principles of Recovery provide direction - to the choices that we face each day.

The Ways of Recovery provide us with tools - that help us to heal - and to enjoy life on life’s terms.

This Learning Seminar introduces the topic of Later Recovery -

What you need to know about Later Recovery - and how to respond to its challenges.

Issues of Later Recovery

The challenges to recovery are not always obvious from the outset.

It is a path of learning about your self - about the condition of addiction - and of what may be necessary to enjoy a lasting recovery one day at a time.

If staying stopped was easy - there would be far a few suffering in addiction today.

For those who have found a bottom to their addiction - the pain of this moment will drive the effort of early recovery.

But recovery is possible - and memories of pain fade.

One risk to later recovery is complacency - a denial of lingering risk - and a confidence that relapse can not occur.

Support meetings seem not important. We are busy with the pressures of work and family - and neglect our Personal Program of Recovery.

Complacency is recovery on time borrowed from previous effort.

Over confidence in recovery will also give rise to false pride. We compare our recovery to that of others - and tell our selves that we have accomplished what they have not.

Pride compares, judges and separates us from others in recovery. It lessens the likelihood that we will listen to what they have to say. Pride indicates a rise of self centered ego.

Denial may again set in. We forget what we have learned about addiction - or that the teachings apply to us.

We come to believe that we have it beat. We are so well recovered - that just one will be okay.

Tired from a long day’s work - Frustrated at what has not gone our way - Deserving of a reward for all of our effort.

Whatever the excuse - it seems like just one or once more will be okay.

Without a day to day Personal Program of Recovery - without mindfulness of the true nature of our condition - we forget traditional wisdom of recovery - that One is Too Many - and A Thousand Not Enough.

It is not that we want to dwell on the sickness within our past. But neither do we want to forget about the consequences and problems of our previous addiction.

Family or friends do not always understand the lingering or recurrent risk of addiction.

They may want or need to believe that you will not use again.

Or worse, they may believe that it is now safe for you to use or to drink - Just a little or Just this once.

This is a particular risk during holiday season - a party or special occasion.

The importance of attending to group - of connecting with others in recovery - is that they know the condition of addiction - and the signs of relapse risk.

One who has been there can easily recognize of complacency, pride, self pity or blame.

And recovery supports know to not ignore such signs.

Other Challenges and Choices

Without daily attention to our state of recovery - old habits of mind and feeling may recur.

And such a condition is not always apparent - until a time of conflict or crisis.

It is one thing to persist in recovery when all is going our way.

It is another thing to not use when faced with a tragic loss, with justifiable anger or the pain of a loved one.

Life does not stop while we pursue our recovery from addiction.

But the better that we tend to recovery - the better we are prepared to face a day when challenged by the unpredictable events of life and relations.

And it is when we apply the Principles and Ways of Recovery to difficult times - that the richness of recovery grows - and its power becomes evident.

There are times well known to challenge recovery - a new job or romantic relationship.

These are both occasions when we are faced by change - by stressful or intense feeling - or by a need to fit in or to impress another.

It is easy to lose perspective in a busy and pressured workplace.

And a romantic infatuation can pull the most centered person off of their balance.

Traditional experience suggests to not enter a new romantic relationship during the first year of addiction recovery.

This is simply to say that it is best to gain a stable foothold in health - before taking on the additional pressures, joy and strain of a new romantic relationship.

There is no guarantee that all in life will go smoothly in recovery.

But there is always a guaranteed way to make things worse.

Bottom line is should you find your self in a position where to use seems the only way to cope - it is time to get out - and to ask for help from the nearest recovery support.

Regardless of time in recovery - Ask for help in the morning - Give thanks at night - and Do what you need to do in between.

In Summary

The greatest risk in Later Recovery - is that we forget the lessons of earlier recovery.

Personal issues of complacency and pride take hold.

Life happens - and not always the way that we wish.

Attend to Your Personal Program of Recovery - when life is going well and when it is not.

The richness and the power of recovery will grow when we apply its Principles and Ways to the challenges of our life.  

You have now reached the end of Later Recovery.

Look for this and other Learning Series topics at www.SupportNet.ca - Resources for Your Recovery.