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The 10 principles of recovery: Part III

Sandusky Artisans Recovery Community Center • May 28, 2014 at 6:30 PM

Continuing on with the discussion about the principles involved with recovery it must be taken into consideration that there are many views regarding recovery but they all must involve keeping an open mind. Contempt prior to investigation can lead the best intentions astray. Recovery from a mental illness, substance abuse or both is the primary concern about which I am writing but in no way should be exclusive. These principles may be applied to similar issues. Everyone has a favorite meal or ice cream that they like but not everyone would feel the same way about someone else’s choice. There are those too who would have an allergic reaction to penicillin and there are those who would not. Simply put life involves variety and likewise so does recovery. The previous blogs regarding the ten principles included hope, person driven, many pathways, holistic and trauma based. The next principle I wish to review involves culture.

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Our great country’s diversity lends itself to many traditions, beliefs and values. Our nation was built with an influx of immigration from all corners of the world and gives us a unique position throughout the history of civilization. Thus making us the “melting pot of the world” and for most of us, excluding the indigenous populations that were here first, our ancestors all came from somewhere else. So in turn when dealing with recovery we must be attuned and sensitive to the individual’s background, culture and unique needs.

The seventh principle is relational. The person seeking recovery will have their chances of success increased if they are immersed in a community of support and encouragement. Networking with people, organizations and alliances that are positive, optimistic and comforting give a sense of belonging, personhood and empowerment that is vital to the recovering individual. The avoidance of negative people, influences and unhealthy life styles are crucial. The people that support recovery and believe in the individual help to sustain the recovery process and will definitely enhance the probabilities for success. Avoidance of any and all negative voices and influences must be paramount to establishing the freedom and peace that recovery brings. 

Let us now consider number eight in my discussion on the principles. This principle requires the individual seeking recovery to have a part in the recovery process. An individual taking personal responsibility for their self-care and journey in recovery is essential for the most positive of outcomes. It may be necessary at first to have a strong guidance in that decision making process through the help of support groups, family, counseling and community resources. Yet, a true recovery that will enable the person to live a self-directed life, achieve health and wellness and the ability to strive for fulfillment is the goal one should be seeking. That is where the support groups, family, counseling and community play an essential role in this process of recovery. An individual in recovery that knows that they are supported by these resources will have the possibility of positive outcomes enhanced. The individual too must bear the responsibility for seeking this help. In the end it is the individual who is responsible for their recovery. The recovering person can and should work with various support groups, faith based organizations, counseling services, family and other community resources but it remains that the individual is responsible for their own recovery. It is with the individual’s decision to gain and sustain recovery that everything else rests. No one can gain and sustain another person’s recovery. The person who is seeking recovery is the primary cause for and ultimate conclusion to the recovery journey that will either be successful or not. Inevitably each person is the captain of their own “ship” and must sail the waters of recovery through the calm or the storms that will occur. Personal responsibility for recovery is vital and a requisite that cannot be overstated.

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