Recovery is a process of gaining the awareness, tools, mindfulness, and skills to maintain sobriety through any of life’s circumstances. Life is not always easy. That is why one of the mantras in recovery mentions learning to “live life on life’s terms.” One of the alcoholic’s and addict’s primary struggles is the marked inability to cope with living life itself. Life is full of difficulties, challenges, responsibility, and pain. On the other hand, life is full of beauty, love, purity, celebration, and joy.
A relapse will typically occur as a result of two things. First, is neglecting to place recovery first. Minimizing meeting attendance, not participating in therapy, or refusing to attend group results in spiritual deprivation. Recovery is maintained by staying spiritually fit. All the components of a comprehensive recovery program are geared toward developing and sustaining a manner of spiritual living. Correlating to a lack of spiritual centeredness is the adverse response to stresses or crises. Without that spiritual foundation for living developed through recovery, young adult addicts find themselves lacking in resource to handle what comes their way. They turn to the patterns of behavior and action which comes most naturally to them: get drunk and get high. Using and drinking as a solution to life’s problems is the most innate programming an adolescent in early recovery has. They’ve only just begun to learn how to react differently. When we drop the tools we’ve learned to pick up, it’s easy to forget how to access them. Right when we need them most, we find ourselves in a struggle of choices.
Every difficult situation presents opportunities for growth, development, and change. In fact, the “serenity prayer” often used in recovery advocates for meeting stress with exactly this philosophy. We ask for the serenity to accept what cannot be changed, the courage to change what can be changed, and the wisdom to know the difference between the two. Most wise, of course, is choosing not to return to drugs and alcohol as a way of responding to crisis in life.
Recovering adolescents suffering from addiction will learn to develop many other tools for managing relapse prevention. Sustain Recovery Services in southern California provides extended care services to young adults and adolescents in recovery from drugs and alcohol. We offer a comprehensive and structured program as a foundation for building a life of long term sobriety. Please visit our website or call us at 949-407-9052 for more information.