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The Principles of 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 Principles of Recovery -

What you need to know - and how to apply The Principles within your life today.

The H O W of Recovery

The first Principle of Recovery is Acceptance - that the way things are right now - is exactly as they need to be.

It is the only way to truly see - to end a struggle and to start a new way.

Minimization and denial are games of the mind and that protect us from seeing our life as it is.

Dishonesty disconnects us - from our self inside - and from those who can help us.

Honest talk helps us to reconnect and to face the facts of our health today.

And Acceptance for things as they are - is always the first step.

A second Principle of Recovery is Openness - that we may not know all the answers - that there may be more for us to learn.

Addiction closes our mind.  We hear - but we do not listen.

Openness encourages us to listen - to the experience of others - and to the many signals that are there to guide our way.

And a third Principle of Recovery is Willingness - to do what I need to do.

Recovery does not happen by wishing it so. Recovery grows from the actions that we take - and the changes that we make today.

H O W - These first three Principles of Recovery - Honesty, Openness and Willingness - are often referred to as the HOW of Recovery.

Accept and get honest about where you are at right now. Listen to the experience of others. And be willing to do things differently today.

Other Principles of Recovery

Regardless of people nearby - addiction isolates and leaves us feeling alone.

We compare our selves to others - feel different - and believe that nobody can understand.

Recovery encourages us to Connect - with those who can help - and with others in recovery.

Listen and relate. Don’t disregard and compare. Talk with others who have been where you are at - and know that you are never alone.

The world of addiction steadily narrows.

The substance is the solution - to whatever the question - a best friend - an escape - a reward for work - a way to wind up or a way to wind down.

Recovery requires us to learn other ways to Care for, Calm and Express ourselves.

SupportNet introduces many of these ways - the Ways of Recovery and the tools for Health and Healing.

The ways of addiction offer a quick fix today - more problems tomorrow.

The Ways of Recovery nourish our health - in ways that will grow one day at a time.

Early abstinence is a difficult time.  

The body is worn - the mind restless and distracted. It jumps to problems of the past and worries for the future. Feelings are raw and exaggerated.
Recovery tells us to Keep It Simple - to put first things first - and to take life one step at a time.

To take on too much too soon is a common path to failure.

The principles of Boundaries and Balance also help us to settle our life.

Addiction rages about the past - fears the future - and tries to solve its problems by changing the ways of others.

Boundaries are about learning the difference - between what is us and what is other - what is now and what is not - what we can control and what we cannot.

Addiction chases after what it wants right now. Priorities, balance and perspective on life are steadily worn away.

SupportNet encourages your Personal Program of Recovery. It will help you to structure and to balance your day.

Look for addiction and you’ll always find blame - other people and outside circumstances - ill health or the past.

Blame is a cornerstone of continuing in addiction. It explains my failures - justifies inaction - and it distracts all attention to the side of the problem.

Addiction waits for everything else to be put just right.

Recovery is set in motion as we begin to take responsibility.

It is the only way to learn and grow.

It means to find our seeds of responsibility in the circumstances of our life today - to accept the things that we cannot change - and to do what we need to do regardless.

Finally, addiction convinces us that recovery is not possible.

A mountain of problems and life on the run - to keep going seems the only way.

There are many ways to run - and many who do not come back.

Recovery requires us to take a stand.

But recovery does not say that we need to stand alone.

And recovery does not say that we need to deal with all of the past - or the whole of the mountain today.

Recovery says to leave the mountain to the side just now - and to learn a different way.

Take time to learn its Principles and Ways - and then take the time to apply them to your life today.

Recovery does not say to run - or to tackle all of our problems right now.

It offers different ways - one moment, one step and one day at a time.

Ask for help in the morning. Give thanks at night - and do what you need to do in between.

And if you can’t do anything else today - just don’t run.

There is no guarantee that life in recovery will be smooth. But there is always a way to make things worse - and that is to restart the run again today.

In Summary

Addiction distorts our lives on the inside and out. To persist in its ways will lead us only to conflict, crisis and decline in our health.

The Principles of Recovery counteract the tendencies of addiction - allowing us to heal and to grow in health.

The practice of these principles in your life today is the means to empower your recovery and to regain your health.

You have now reached the end of The Principles of Recovery.

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