New Year Positive Growth Potential
Whatever the Cause of Personal Trauma – New Year Growth Wishes
Posttraumatic Addiction-Related Growth
Individuals recovering from substance abuse report both negative outcomes (posttraumatic stress symptoms requiring dual diagnosis treatment) – as well as positive changes.
The positive changes resulting from addiction recovery are described as posttraumatic addiction-related growth.
‘Addiction-related growth’ refers to the growth that an individual undergoes as a result of the addiction itself – and the recovery process.
Although no one would choose substance abuse and addiction as a pathway to personal growth – there is tremendous potential for personal growth in the recovery process. Successful long-lasting recovery from addiction is associated with positive changes in personal meaning-making and inner spirituality.
Letting Go and Moving Forward
“You only have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”
~ Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
In psychology, meaning-making is the process of how people understand and make sense of life events, relationships, and the self.
Although it is definitely not easy – positive growth and positive changes are possible even from the most tragic of circumstances and trauma.
Lasting recovery from substance abuse requires a total re-assessment of habitual behaviors and habitual thinking patterns. Addiction recovery (and recovery from traumatic events) requires a greater degree of self-knowledge and a leap into the unknown of more positive choices. For most, this also results in inner spiritual growth.
The Search for Personal Meaning
Recovery from substance abuse can be an important ‘search for meaning‘.
Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl, based on his own experience and the experiences of others he treated later in his practice, argued that we cannot avoid suffering.
However, we can choose how to cope with trauma or tragedy: we can find meaning in it – and move forward with renewed purpose. Frankl’s theory is known as logotherapy, (from the Greek word ‘logos’: meaning). Frankl believed that our primary drive in life is not pleasure (as Freud maintained) – but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful.
Start Where You Are – Addiction Recovery Stages of Change Model
The Stages of Change Model is a helpful tool to understand the process of behavioral change. Most in addiction recovery move through the stages of change in a spiral pattern. Individuals in recovery can jump about between stages, go backward and forward; or even be in more than one stage at a time.
To progress through the Stages of Change – individuals actively engage in cognitive and emotional work; and evaluative insight processes. Mindfulness meditation is very helpful in this process.
- Pre-Contemplation – In this stage, individuals are not planning to take action in the foreseeable future (defined as within the next 6 months). They are often unaware that their behavior produces negative consequences.
- Contemplation – In this stage, individuals begin to consider a more positive, healthy behavior in the foreseeable future (defined as within the next 6 months). Individuals begin to recognize their behavior may be causing a problem. A more thoughtful and practical consideration of personal responsibility takes place.
- Preparation (Determination) – In this stage, individuals are ready to take action within the next 30 days. They start to take small steps toward the behavior change, and believe changing negative behaviors can lead to a healthier and happier life.
- Action – In this stage, individuals have recently changed their behavior (defined as within the last 6 months) – and intend to keep moving forward with that behavior change. Individuals in this stage modify negative behaviors and acquire new healthy behaviors.
- Maintenance – In this stage, individuals have continued behavior change for a while (defined as more than 6 months) – and intend to maintain the behavior change going forward. Individuals in this stage are actively working to prevent relapse to earlier stages.
Relapse Prevention and the Five Rules of Recovery
Rule 1: Change Your Life
Rule 2: Be Completely Honest
Rule 3: Ask for Help
Rule 4: Practice Self-Care
Rule 5: Don’t Bend the Rules
Need Help with Alcohol or Substance Abuse?
If you or your family are experiencing the effects of addiction – it is time to take the necessary steps to get help.
Call Admissions at 877-367-9930 for assistance.
If PTSD or any form of mental illness is also involved (depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and more) – it is critical to make certain the recovery center you choose has Dual Diagnosis treatment.
Dual Diagnosis is also known as ‘co-occurring disorders’ in substance use disorders (SUD) treatment.
Northern California and U.S. Addiction Rehab Locations Available
Wishing You All the Best in the New Year!
Your Life Awaits – Make a New Start Now