Forging Your Own Path in Recovery

Forging Your Own Path in Recovery

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson, American writer, and philosopher

We all have choices. We all made decisions that led us to become the people we are today. Therefore, we can make decisions to move us closer to becoming the people we want to become. The choices we make shape our days and our days shape the course of our lives.

These choices can be simple, like deciding what we will have for breakfast and what we will wear for the day. Conversely, our decisions can be more complex, like choosing a romantic partner or picking a career path. For individuals in recovery from mental health, substance use, and/or alcohol addiction, choosing a treatment program is vital to implementing and maintaining the lifelong recovery habits needed to stay healthy. Fortunately, there are countless treatment resources available. This means that you have options and can be empowered to make a decision based on your needs, goals, and lifelong dreams.

Limited Options in the Early Days of Recovery

In the early days of mental health and addiction recovery, clients’ treatment options were few and far between. The 19th century and early 20th century utilized mass institutes for “one size fits all” treatment. Therapy was generally reserved for the wealthy classes and limited to years and years of psychoanalysis.

In other words, therapy during these times still looked like that old stereotype of a detached, bearded doctor sitting on a chair scribbling notes as the patient lies on the couch, sharing the inner workings of their minds in narrative form. Soldiers were returning home from World War I with “shell shock,” or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

They had virtually nowhere to turn to for help, as mental health treatment was expensive and options were lacking. Many of them turned to alcohol and/or substance abuse to cope. Fortunately, 12-step programs emerged to help people abusing alcohol and/or other substances manage their addictions.

Similar to today, these programs were structured by meeting attendance and working the 12-steps with a sponsor. These programs continue to be a popular treatment today and have proven to be useful for many people. The ideas in 12-step programs have created the foundation for the more open and inclusive concept of “recovery” in the treatment of addiction and mental illness.

What is “Recovery?”

What do you think of when you hear the word “recovery?” For some, quite a few concepts and approaches might come to mind. However, those that have never heard the term applied to mental health and addiction will likely think of recovery in terms of physical ailments. Perhaps your mind goes to the idea of getting rest to recover from a bout of the flu, or maybe you think of recovering from a broken bone with a cast and physical therapy.

Can the same term be applied to mental health, trauma, and addiction? Yes! After all, people suffering from these issues require healing as well. Recovery from mental illness and addiction varies in approach from person-to-person. Recovery is best approached as an individualized journey, and many innovative programs have created treatment choices to empower their clients to make their recovery work for them. Here are some recovery treatment modality choices that may be new to you:

  • Canine Therapy
  • Peer Support and Peer Mentoring
  • Brain-Body Approaches
  • Wilderness Therapy
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Brainspotting
  • Resilience Training
  • Group Therapy
  • Mindfulness
  • Art and Music Therapy
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
  • Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT)
  • And many more choices for your recovery journey!

We Have Come a Long Way

Things are not nearly as limited as they once were. Having choices makes us feel more empowered and less hopeless when beginning recovery. For example, imagine that you were buying tires for your car, and there was only one store selling one brand. How would you feel?

You would not have a choice! You would have to pay whatever they were charging, and you would have no options for road conditions you may encounter. Chances are, that would not make you feel very empowered as a consumer. Choices in recovery work the same way.

They allow you to truly personalize your recovery journey and try various options until you find something that works! To paraphrase the quote above from Ralph Waldo Emerson, you become the person you decide to be. By having treatment options, you have more decision-making power and become empowered to carve a path that will work for you!

We have come a long way in the treatment of mental health disorders, alcohol abuse, and substance dependency. Recovery continues to grow in terms of treatment options and resources. Additionally, the stigma associated with addiction decreases as people like you take steps to pave the way for others with similar struggles. Continue to forge your path. Make the best decisions for your recovery and become the person you were destined to be!

Recovery is an extremely personal process, and it takes time to discover your own path. Still, every recovery journey begins with a single step: admitting that you need help. At Camelback Recovery, you’ll find a sober living community ready to provide you with the tools you’ll need on the journey to sobriety. If you’re ready to get sober, it’s time to lean on the experience and strength of others who have come before you. Sobriety is not as uncharted as it may seem. Through a holistic recovery program, you can heal spiritually, mentally, and physically – you just need the time to do so. At Camelback Recovery, you’ll find the community you’re looking for and the experienced guidance you need. Give us a call at (602) 466-9880. Getting sober isn’t easy, but it can be an exciting period of your life, filled with transformational experiences and incredible growth.