What Is recovery?

Recovery is a change process, where one returns to a place of physical or mental health. Being in recovery is a commonly used term when referring to someone who is no longer in active addiction and continues to take action to change their behaviour, address their issues, lead a more productive life and be the best version of themself they can be! Recovery is a journey.

There are multiple pathways to addiction recovery, and it can look different for different people. There are 3 primary types of pathways: clinical, community based and self-managed. Often, these different routes are combined together or utilised at various points along the journey. Clinical pathways may include therapeutic, hospital or medicinal assistance, whereas non-clinical pathways tend to involve community based or peer supported services. Some people self manage their recovery, which generally means that no ‘formal’ assistance was engaged.

Recovery isn’t a straight line but there are stages of recovery and recovery is possible from any stage. The transtheoretical stages of change model identifies 5 stages that an individual may cycle through in recovery. These stages may also be repeated several times.

Let’s consider these like the chicken and the egg.

Fresh Laid Egg Stage (PreContemplative):

Safe and sound as an egg. An individual isn’t even considering that their behaviour could be an issue that needs changing. Any suggestion by others that they have a problem is seen as making a big deal of nothing. An individual doesn’t see their addiction as a problem at this stage. There is often denial coupled with a lack of self-awareness during this stage.

Cracked Egg Stage (Contemplative):

The egg has started to form some cracks in it. Consequences of an addiction are being noticed by the individual and they are starting to spend time thinking about change. This is a good time for the support of friends and family and may be a time where their guidance is more positively received. It is during the contemplative stage that you might consider engaging intervention services for your loved one.

Broken Shell Stage (Preparation):

Enough of the shell has broken away that a little chick’s head is poking out. The individual can’t avoid being cognisant of the consequences of their actions and they are becoming interested in and curious about what to do about their problem. This stage is primarily focused on gathering information and researching ways to change. The chick is starting to wiggle bits of broken shell away and break loose from the denial of their addiction. During the Preparation stage, an individual may start to reach out for help. They might begin calling various addiction treatment services, start attending counselling, or go to some peer-support or 12-step meetings. Efforts are being made to not use substances or engage in negative behaviours.

Chick Stage (Action):

All hatched and no shell in sight, an individual has actively taken steps to change their life. They have stepped away from the shell of their addiction and are likely engaged in addiction treatment such as counselling or an inpatient/outpatient rehab program. Great efforts are being made daily to avoid substance use and associated negative behaviours.

Chook Stage (Maintenance):

Some time has passed and the egg is now a chicken. This time is focused on working to prevent addiction recovery relapse. Ongoing support through aftercare programs, peer-support groups, or counselling can assist with this stage. The lifestyle changes that were made previously have become more comfortable and are getting easier to maintain.

You don’t have to recover alone.
Recovery is challenging, but you don’t have to go through it alone. No matter what stage of recovery you are in, call us for a free, no-obligation consultation.