What is the definition of “recovery”? By one definition, recovery means returning to a “normal state”. Normal may not ever be a reality for those who suffer from a mental health disorder. What the normalcy the definition refers to is in health, mind, and strength. Another definition of recovery sees it as “the action or process of regaining possession or control of something stolen or lost”. Addiction, alcoholism, and mental health issues can certainly make us feel as though we’ve lost our sense of normalcy when it comes to our physical health, mental health, and our strength. We lose strength of mind, strength of heart, as well as strength of spirit. We lose our strength in being able to cope with life on life’s terms and do what is required of us to maintain.
The word “control” in the definition of recovery often throws those in treatment for a loop. Recovery from addiction, alcoholism, and mental health disorders is not about regaining control of one’s drinking, drug use, or mental health issue- at least not so to speak. An undeniable point is that when one becomes sober, they stop abusing chemical substances. In that regard, they do indeed regain control. However, as millions of relapse stories have shown. Once that first drink or drug is picked up again, control is quickly lost. Likewise with mental health disorders, it is easy to slip into old, destructive behaviors if new patterns of behavior are not well maintained.
For this reasons specifically many feel that they are never truly recovered but are instead in a lifelong process of recovering. Though some feel that sentiment is one of defeatism, most in recovery feel it is a source of inspiration, motivation, and willingness to stay committed. Simply put, one does not want to try to outsmart their diagnosis. Who someone is and what their diagnosis is are not the same. Yet, it is very easy to fall back into the control of an unmanaged diagnosis.
Recovery is a long term process that never ends. You will reach periods of achievement and milestone that leave you more improved today than you were yesterday. In recovery we often say to take things “one day at a time” and to enjoy the journey without worrying about the destination.
Avalon By The Sea is a mental health treatment facility providing certified care for primary diagnoses of both mental health and substance use disorder issues. If you are in need of an assessment or more information about pursuing treatment, call us today at 1 888-958-7511.