As addicts we only recover to as far as our definition of the word “Recovery” allows. For example, if an addict’s definition of recovery is “not using drugs/drinking/gambling etc.” then once they achieves that, they stop there. No further growth and change occurs because they believe they have achieved their “goal.”
This is a dangerous attitude because if later difficulties or stressful events arise in their lives, their “Recovery” wobbles and relapse soon follows. The addict simply didn’t acquire all the needed coping skills once they stopped using – and stopped recovering.
Addicts need to examine every aspect of their lives until they develop a definition of recovery which embraces ALL the changes necessary to achieve stability and control and ultimately – long-term recovery.
This where a good program is invalueable. There needs to be some sort of “roadmap” which leads the addicts through a series of discoveries about themselves.
An addict needs to look at all the physiological, psychological, spiritual and community (family, friends, etc.) changes that their insanity has caused and then determine the how to “get back” to sanity. Once the addict has all these facts they can then define their definition of recovery in greater depth and width and as a consequence have a better quality recovery.
Once again, I believe that it is the mentor/sponsor who must come to the rescue. It is their role to confront the addict and force a widening of their definition through self-examination of character, of past behavior and thinking.