Many people believe that sobriety and recovery are the same things.
Unfortunately, they are not.
From a holistic perspective, the two are very different.
It is possible for a person to experience a period of sobriety and not even start the process of recovery. People are considered sober if they are not, at the moment, under the influence of a substance.
Recovery, on the other hand, involves much more than just momentary sobriety. Recovery is a process that includes physical, mental, emotional and spiritual healing.
- Addiction takes a toll on the body.
People are not focused on caring for their body when they are abusing drugs and alcohol. Those suffering with addiction are often physically weak and will sometimes have medical issues that they have been ignoring. When an addiction is in "full swing" an addict will push aside routine medical check-ups and dental care, along with the desire to care for more severe medical issues.
- Mental health issues are often intertwined with addiction.
It is common for individuals with moderate to severe mental health problems to self-medicate by using substances to alleviate depression, anxiety, grief, etc. Unfortunately, the substance use just postpones or temporarily quietens the pain. In most cases, the substance use creates an even bigger problem for the individual.
- Emotionally many people with addictions are exhausted.
They recognize the damage they have done to loved ones and relationships with their use of substances but fail to see that the individuals they have damaged most are themselves. Those in active addiction have heard angry accusations come their way and have often retaliated back with anger and hurtful responses – but the addiction sufferer’s own accusatory and guilt-ridden self-talk is far worse than anything other people could say to them. Negative thoughts and beliefs often leaves an addict feeling worthless and beat.
- Spiritual connectedness is significantly weakened.
Regardless of an individual’s beliefs, most often with addiction people feel disconnected, or distanced from their faith. Many will speak of a need to reconnect with their beliefs, but will also experience a feeling of unworthiness that further distances them from their spirituality.
At Gulf Breeze Recovery the focus is on Total Health Recovery which includes emotional, spiritual, mental, and physical health integration.
When the recovery process is focused on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health, then real recovery can begin. It is crucial that all of the four components of recovery are addressed in a constructive recovery environment. In this environment individuals are helped to become sober; physical health is treated with medical care, healthy diet, and exercise; mental health issues are evaluated and addressed with personal and group counseling, and the process of mending damaged relationships starts to take place.
With professional assistance, people can challenge their negative self-talk and beliefs and start to relieve themselves from the guilt and shame that have been emotionally weighing them down. As people become healthier and stronger, they often begin to reconnect with their faith or find beliefs that build a spiritual foundation that is right for them. With all of these parts in place, real recovery can begin.
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