The 10 Guiding Principles of Recovery: #3 Choose Your Own Path


Principle #3: Recovery includes your unique strengths, needs, and background.


In a recent article, I discussed how the way that we look at recovery is changing and opening up to include recovery from mental illness. The reality is that it is impossible to separate a person’s addiction from their mental health recovery. The two often come as a package, and even when a person does not experience both, recovery from addiction or mental health can be remarkably similar.

The definition of recovery has been reframed as a “working definition,” meaning that how we see addiction and mental health recovery will continue to evolve. SAMSHA’s definition is:

A process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.

The definition contains four key statements which I have written about here. Over the coming weeks, I will be featuring the 10 Guiding Principles of Recovery as outlined by SAMSHA.

Principle #3. Recovery occurs via many pathways – “Individuals are unique with distinct needs, strengths, preferences, goals, culture, and backgrounds— including trauma experience — that affect and determine their pathway(s) to recovery. “

  • Recovery is built on your strengths and resilience
  • For recovery to last, it should fit your needs
  • Relapse is not inevitable, but setbacks may occur
  • Recovery involves is a process of continual growth and improved functioning

To make this practical:

  • Discover and use your strengths. Discovering your strengths can be a challenge, especially when you have struggled with a drug or alcohol addiction, or severe depression or anxiety.

A strength is defined as a beneficial quality or attribute that you have. To discover your strengths, You can take a strengths test by clicking here. You can also pay attention to the times where you enrich (improve, support or bring joy to) the lives of other people, your workplace or yourself. If you pick up something quickly and enjoy it, that may also point to one or more of your strengths.

Once you know your strengths, use them. Make a point of practicing at least one of your strengths each day. For example, if you have the strength of curiosity and love reading or discovering new things, talk to one person about something you are learning in your recovery. This will help you to avoid isolation as you practice your strength.

For more, you can find the full report by clicking here and by tuning into my blog.

I write articles about wellness, leadership, parenting and personal growth. My hope is to deliver the best content I can to inspire, to inform and to entertain. Sign up for my blog if you want to receive the latest and best of my writing. If you like what I have to say, please share my work with your friends.

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Keep it Real

Photo by Zach Dischner

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