Self-Help Recovery Guide
Is self-help possible?
Some people would question the idea that recovery from an addiction is a self-help process, because the nature of being addicted to something seems to imply a state of “helplessness” or “powerlessness.” Try not to get “too concerned” about the semantics (exact meaning) of “helplessness,” and “powerlessness;” and just view an addiction as a person recognizing that they need to learn how to help them self overcome a behavior that is causing them problems in their life. If part of accepting personal responsibility is recognizing that you need outside help from other people, a treatment program, or even a medical interventiongreat, as long as the person is getting help!
In general terms self-help recovery can be viewed from four perspectives: Self-assessment, Basic humility, Empowerment, and Personal responsibility. I will explain each of these below. Ultimately it is up to the individual to commit them self to the process of recovery and to create the kind of life that they have always wantedfree of control from alcohol, drugs or addictive behaviors.
Self-assessment begins with the act of awareness that the person has a problem and acceptance of the fact that it is up to them to make changes in their life. The substance user begins to realize that their addictive behaviors (alcohol, drug use, or other behaviors) are causing problems in their lives for themselves and others. Once the person becomes aware or is made aware by other, then the question becomes: "What to do about the situation?" The user asks: “What do I do?” and significant others ask: “How can we help?”
2. Basic Humility
Basic Humility is just admitting and understanding that we are human and not perfectwe are not God (for those who believe in a higher power). What we want to happen“our will,” is not always what does happen. How great it would be if all we had to do was to want something to happen for it to become a reality! Unfortunately this is not the case and we need to act for things to happenincluding making significant changes in our life. The second part of admitting that we are only human; is that as humans we are social beings and we need each other, and sometimes we even need “help” from each other! For those who believe in a higher power, God, or have a spiritual understanding, they would also say that we need some sort of connection to the “eternal.” As humans we need a connection with something that transcends our own existence.
Empowerment is giving somebody “power” and “authority.” It is also giving somebody a sense of “confidence” and “self-esteem.”
Many substance users and victims of addictions have unknowingly given over their personal power and authority to the drug or addictive behavior, through their decisions and choices.
Thus, it is by learning how to take back that power and authority and choosing to make life-sustaining decisions, the person can rebuild or create a new level of selfconfidence and selfesteem.
Being able to REASON - or THINK CLEARLY - is very important for eveyone who wants to make a positive change in their life. Even active users have "moments of clarity," where you can try to reason with them.
Having a PURPOSE or GOAL in life, gives us something to work towards. It ties in with our emotional motivation to make positive changes.
SELF-ESTEEM only comes from our ACTIONS. When we act in positive ways, we feel good about ourselves, it motivates us to act again in a similar manner, and helps us to realize that we can give back to others and not just act in self-serving ways.
Responsibility is personal responsibility. Each person is ultimately responsible for their own thinking, feelings, and actionstheir life.
We may not always be in control of our behavior,
The worst four words in the English language are: “I can't help myself!” Sometimes the way to help ourselves is to ask another person to help us!
What’s God have to do with Recovery?
The simple answer is: as much or as little as you want. From my perspective the key quality to attain is “basic humility,” as stated above. You can be an agnostic (somebody who believes that it is impossible to know whether or not God exists), or an atheist (somebody who dies not believe in God or deities), and still be able to progress in your recovery as long as you do not think that: “you are God” and never need outside help.
God grant me the serenity,
to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.
God grant me the serenity,
to accept the people I cannot change,
courage to change the one I can,
and wisdom to know it's me.
The above four concepts are interconnected. Each is related to the others. By signing up as a RecoveryRoadMap.com supporter, both addicts and helpers, can utilize the information in the Recovery Road Map to find the journey that is appropriate for each unique person. My laying out as many choices and options as possible, I hope to provide a true recovery map that can be used by all to create new lives, rebuild old lives, and enhance everyone's journey through this process we call life!
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