Recovering drug addicts and alcoholics need both strategies and tactics for recovery.
On the one hand, we need to have overall strategies that can guide us in our day-to-day decision making, sound principles that help guide us towards proper living. But on the other hand, we also need some proven tactics that can help us to focus on what’s important in recovery.
The strategies of the 12 step program might be summarized as being “find God, clean house, and help others.” Common tactics in traditional 12 step recovery include attending meetings, sponsorship, working the steps, and so on.
But what if you want to move beyond the traditional 12 step model and embrace a more open and purposeful program of recovery? The 12 step program traditionally focuses on spiritual growth, whereas a more holistic approach would address the spiritual, physical, mental, emotional, and social aspects of recovery.
Here are my suggested strategies for guiding your overall actions in that case:
1. Caring for yourself.
2. Networking with others.
3. Pursuing personal growth.
Caring for yourself can include physically, mentally, emotionally, and so on. It is a broad strategy intended to guide your decisions in every day life. It is a universal strategy in that anyone can apply it to their live and receive the benefits of doing so.
Networking with others is a powerful strategy that is also broad and universal. The idea is to reach out and connect with others who are pursuing a similar experience in recovery. Networking provides the needed support to get us through the tough times when we are tempted to relapse in early recovery.
Pursuing personal growth is also a universal strategy and should be at the forefront of any recovering addict or alcoholic’s mind. We have to push ourselves to grow in recovery or we will stagnate and become complacent and eventually relapse. The push for personal growth is important because it helps us build the necessary level of self esteem to protect us from potential relapse.
The tactics that accompany these strategies are all geared towards holistic growth and purposeful living. For example, a recovering addict might start exercising, quit smoking, and work on their emotional balance and their relationships as part of their recovery efforts. What was once seen as being unrelated to quitting drugs and alcohol becomes important to our overall progress in recovery. Holistic growth becomes the backbone of our long term sobriety.
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