How to Approach Recovery from Addiction, Co-occurring Disorders, and Isolation
Dr. Kimberly Dennis on Aug 26, 2011
In generations past, the word recovery usually referred to a highly sterile room in a hospital where people went immediately after surgery to stabilize. Today, recovery has taken on a whole new meaning. Millions of people are in recovery from everything from drugs and alcohol to eating disorders, gambling, compulsive spending, sex and love addictions, and codependency.
If you are reading these words, you too, are probably in recovery. As with many things in life, there is the good news and the bad news. The bad news is that you do have a progressive, chronic and potentially fatal disease. However, the good and far more relevant news is that addiction is eminently treatable and complete and lasting recovery is absolutely possible. Getting Connection and Support
We are designed to be social, emotional and spiritual beings. All of us need to be connected to others. Addiction is antithetical to this concept; the deeper the addiction to food, substances, self-injurious behavior, exercise, the greater the isolation. Recovery is the process of returning back to life from the physical, social, emotional and spiritual death of addiction.
Recovery entails emerging from the isolation to a new and abundant life, firmly connected to self, others, and spirituality. This will provide the help and support needed to maintain recovery on a daily basis. As an extension of this need for social support, it is important to go to 12 step meetings, get a sponsor, work the steps and remain in relationship with others in long-term recovery. Identification and Treatment of Co-occurring Disorders
Nearly 100% of the women seen in treatment have at least one co-occurring disorder. Many of these individuals will use their addiction to cope with or medicate their depression, eating disorder, bipolar disorder, trauma, etc. If these co-occurring disorders are not identified and treated, the chances of long-term recovery diminish dramatically. Cultivate Hope and Practice Forgiveness
Always remember that you are not alone in your struggles or your journey. There is a Power far greater than your disease that can heal you and restore you to wholeness. It is this higher power that will provide strength when you feel weak, peace when you feel anxious. It will see you through the challenging days of recovery. Also remember to extend grace to yourself.
Addiction had a hold on you for a long time, and now you are in the process of reclaiming your health, heart, present and future. This takes time and requires great strength and determination. If you stumble, it doesn’t mean you are in some way inadequate or you are not truly committed to the process. Forgive yourself, and then continue toward the goal of recovery.
- Dr. Kim Dennis
Join Dr. Kim Dennis on September 1, 2011 at 7pm CDT for her webinar, "Breaking Through the Deadly Isolation of Addiction." Dr. Dennis will discuss tips anyone can use to break through the isolation that accompanies addiction, trauma, and other related disorders. Do you have a question you would like Dr. Dennis to address? Join the Member Group and add your question to the discussion.