Some men and women enter recovery because they know addition hasn’t been good for them. Recovery turns into the only option that’s going to keep them alive or sane or out of jail. And even if recovery was sort of forced upon you in the beginning, it’s doesn’t always have to be a forced experience. Recovery can become an experience that is meaningful, purposeful, and important to you.
For instance, let’s say you’ve been sober for a few months. You’ve gotten back on your feet and you’re working. In fact, you’re not only working but you’ve got your own place again and even your finances are starting to fall into order. With these aspects of your life starting to come together, you might start to think about going back to school for a degree, healing your family relationships, advancing in your career, or beginning to save for your future. In other words, now that you have a solid foundation beneath you, you can start to wonder, dream, and envision the life you’d like to have.
This idea is highlighted by Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow was a psychologist who theorized that people behave in certain ways based upon their primary motivations. He developed a hierarchy because he believed that people will focus on meeting their most basic needs first before reaching after self-esteem needs or self-actualizing needs (such as finding your purpose). Maslow believed that people will the following needs in the following order:
- Physiological (clothing, food, sex, shelter, water, etc.)
- Safety (protection, security, etc.)
- Love and Belonging (intimate relationships, friends, family, etc.)
- Esteem (prestige, feelings of accomplishment)
- Self-Actualization (achieving your full potential, creative accomplishments)
Often, someone who is in early recovery is working on meeting their most basic needs, which Maslow would group under physiological and safety needs. But once you’ve got those met, then you’re likely to focus on other needs that are higher in the hierarchy. Sadly, some people stay stuck in only meeting their basic needs. And some people have a hard time doing that.
Part of a successful recovery is creating the foundation so that you can move higher and higher up the hierarchy. Once you’ve met your basic needs, you can start asking yourself greater questions like:
- What do you want to achieve?
- What do you want to heal during your recovery?
- What creative talent do you want to hone?
- What aspects of your life do you still need to focus on?
- How can you become a better human being?
- What would you like to do for the rest of your life?
- Where would you like to live?
- What relationships do you want to heal?
- Would you like to get married or have children again?
- What kind of person would you like to become?
- What have you always wanted to do but felt like you couldn’t?
- What inner obstacles do you have that you can move past now that you’re sober?
- What dream would you like to make real?
Recovery might have started out in a challenging way. Or you might have been forced to be in recovery. But it can be a great transformation. Recovery can be a turning point in your life, if you let it.
Vantage Point Recovery is a lifestyle management and recovery center in Thousand Oaks. We providemental health treatment, addiction treatment, and therapy. Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, andInstagram, or visit our blog for mental health helpful tips.
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