The 10 Guiding Principles of Recovery: #4 Choose Your Own Path


Principle #4: 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 #4. Recovery occurs via many pathways – “Recovery encompasses an individual’s whole life, including mind, body, spirit, and community.”

  • Recovery is not just about the drugs. It is about your family, your job, your mental health and your spiritual life.
  • Recovery is multi-dimensional. It involves your mind, your body, your spirit, and your community.

To make this practical:

  • If recovery is about your whole life, how can you do just one thing differently to connect with your mind, body, spirit and community?
  • Change is never about revolutionizing your life. Change starts small. How can you start small and care for your whole self?
  • You can read more about recovery by searching my blog for “Addiction” or “Recovery.” You can also read more about Addiction: Forgetting Your Way into Recovery.

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.

Lastly, if you like my writing, you can click here to vote for my page on Psych Central’s list of mental health blogs.

Keep it Real

Photo by Zach Dischner

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