Recovery and meaningful sobriety are not processes that happen in isolation. A facility like Jaywalker Lodge is likely the place where an alcoholic and/or addict is introduced to recovery, but the activities, tools, processes, and healing therapies they learn should not be left there. If the recovery process is begun but then left behind, it is highly likely that the one who sought sobriety will have to come seeking it again.
It is important to understand that recovery is not a punishment for addiction or a treatment like antibiotics. Recovery is the gift of a chance to live life fully, happily, and freely – and it is most effective when the addict is fully immersed in all it has to offer.
A Daily Choice
We shouldn’t take a daily multivitamin just every so often, or when we aren’t feeling so great. If we do, those helpful vitamins – while still positive – will have little to no effect on our health. If we want to get and stay healthy, we must take a multivitamin every day. This probably seems like an oversimplified analogy. However, the 12-Steps are very similar to a multivitamin for our body, mind, and spirit. The 12-Steps are full of useful and healthy information, thoughts, practices, tools, and guides that can help us in every part of our day – all day long, every single day.
There is more to recovery than 12-Step work, though without that as the basis it is likely we may not get or remain free of our disease. Embracing and immersing ourselves in the 12-Steps can transform our entire life. Yet, just like exercise is good for you, if you only exercise once in a while you’re likely to hurt yourself doing it. If you exercise every other week, you may not notice much difference in your body or your health. However, if you exercise regularly, you will eventually see a great positive change in yourself and your health. We must try to not seek instant gratification but strive to fully embrace and trust the process. Small actions taken on a daily basis can revolutionize our entire life and positively impact our whole being.
One Day at a Time
At Jaywalker Lodge, we believe individuals who do not fully immerse themselves in recovery and return to treatment do so for many reasons – but none more important than the failure to grasp and fully personalize Step One of the 12-Steps. Clients at Jaywalker examine the impact of drugs and alcohol in all aspects of their lives through the writing and sharing of sections of their own life stories, ultimately revealing their underlying truth about their struggles with addiction and recovery. The other 11 steps cannot follow successfully if Step One is not fully realized.
Our disease likely did not harm us and wreck up our lives overnight. It likely took a good deal of time, happening little by little. Nor was our disease just one thing. It wasn’t just the alcohol and drugs – there were other activities, behaviors, and adaptations we had to make to accommodate our addiction. Recovery works the same way. Thankfully though, it works in the opposite direction, repairing, undoing, and transforming much if not all of the damage done by our disease.
Keep in mind that the 12-Steps do not work overnight, nor are they just one thing. Recovery and sobriety take time, one day at a time. We will be well-served by taking daily actions and giving them the chance to accumulate a change in ourselves and our lives. We will be even better served by working all three sides of the “triangle of recovery”: Unity, Service, and Recovery.
Your New Life is Waiting
There is more than enough in the 12-Step program to immerse yourself in, such as service, fellowship with others, and the recovery process. At the same time, if we so desire, there is even more healing to be found. We can undertake to repair our mental and spiritual wounds, becoming healthy in mind and spirit. We can heal the physical damage we did to our bodies in our addiction, and begin to prioritize our physical health. There is exercise, meditation, therapy, and a host of new, healthy activities we can engage in. This is barely scratching the surface of all the things available to us in a life of recovery.
Just as our disease took over our entire lives and injured them in a myriad of ways, so too can our sobriety reach every aspect of our lives. The process of recovery heals us and restores whatever damage was done. We were once engulfed in our disease. Now that we have found recovery, it would behoove us to immerse ourselves in it as well. The benefits will be mind-blowing, the healing will be gratitude-inducing, and the fullness and joy our lives can contain will surely surprise and even delight us.
We must remember that entering recovery is not a creative punishment for the lives we lived in our addiction. It is not a life sentence of strange new things we must do to make restitution for being sick with alcoholism and addiction – not at all. Recovery is a gift. Recovery is the chance all of us have to get freed from our disease and experience a life we may have never thought possible. Sure, it can seem strange at first – but compared to the lives we lived before we sought sobriety, it is nothing short of a miracle. Along the road of recovery, we are given the opportunity to experience usefulness, purpose, joy, peace, belonging, and love, all while healing our body, mind, and spirit. We simply have to allow ourselves to accept the gift, and then immerse ourselves fully in the beautiful journey that awaits us.
Are you ready to dive in? Jaywalker Lodge will stand beside you every step of the way and help you become fully immersed in your recovery. Whatever changes may lay ahead, we have a team of caring experts ready to help. Call us now at (866) 529-9255.