Is recovery the same as abstinence?

Recovery is not just about quitting past destructive behaviors and addictions.

We might like to think that recovery is simply being abstinent - being clean, not engaging in bad habits and not taking xyz.

recovery is not just abstinence

Recovery that lasts, however, is not passive.

It is not us sitting it out, waiting for the craving magically to just disappear over time. The most frequent relapse happens, when we think our recovery is about focusing on just NOT doing that or taking that. This will simply exhaust our willpower over time and we will give in. We will give in to the craving, because we are not creating a space for the recovered new self, we are just abstaining - and life feels empty when we go about it this way.

We never want to focus on what NOT TO DO - we want focus on what TO DO instead.

Simply because our mind will obsess with what we feed it, and doesn't understand the finer semantics of NOT added into the equation. So thus the action in our mind that we want to avoid becomes the sole focus of our existence in recovery. This, if we choose to focus on abstinence and "DON'T" language. 

Recovery is about rediscovering ourself and creating the person we already are - in action, everyday, in every small way.

This allows us to get in touch with who we really are, to learn new coping mechanisms, and how to deal with everyday life.

Recovery is a complete transformation of the mind, body, and soul. 

It is not easy, but it is about opening up every dark of our soul and mind, so we can fill our life with better things, than trash-thoughts and numbing out from fear and the self-induced destructive behaviors we might have engaged in. 

Once we start adding IN to the equation and engaging WITH other people, healing at a cell-level takes place. Recovery is not an isolated process, waiting for us to be perfect before we can take part of the world again.

This type of lasting recovery takes commitment, honesty, faith, and working through a lot of pain. It requires dedication and time, and not everyone is ready to give what is needed. 

Recovery can be the first step to the rest of our life - when we decide that we are ready to walk the path that is required.

A path that is inevitably like a glass-ceiling. 

There is nothing we can hide anymore, if we desire to truly let go. Recovery is not staying (stuck) and white-knuckling the cravings - it is working through, climbing over and walking onwards.

Recovery is action in motion.

It is walking towards what you want, rather than avoiding what you don't want.