What is Recovery?

It’s been a struggle to re-engage in my writing over the last year. Once a habit is broken and has been replaced with other things, it’s difficult to get back to a place of re-engagement.

However, like the pause my husband is taking right now from working on his master’s degree, I needed a pause from consistent published-focused writing. I needed to allow what has been, soak in and help me remember what worked and discard what didn’t.

The focus of my blog has transformed since its inception in late 2010. However the core concept of it has never diverged; which has been recovery.

So, there’s the million dollar word of the hour: recovery.

It’s a widely used term today, thrown around about as much as Donald Trump’s name (yeah, I went there; but that’s how much it’s used – and in turn, actually, sadly misused).

My family and I don’t pay for cable. Instead, we enjoy Netflix, Amazon, PBS and Create TV. And at times, we’ll put on another local digital airwave channel that has some older shows that my husband and I watched in our youth. In doing such, we’ve encountered multiple ads for recovery treatment centers for addiction. And every time we see one of these ads, it unnerves both of us. And here’s why:

Becuase they’re misusing the word recovery.

There’s a stark difference between treatment and recovery.

Treatment addresses symptoms of diseases in our lives.

Recovery addresses the root problems of those diseases.

In looking at this word from the light it’s intended, we notice it’s an action word. It’s not a medical treatment procedure, it’s an intentional, chosen action taken to rediscover what has been broken and/or misplaced.

It’s a life-affirming action and one that takes intentional effort. Treatment does not do this.

Treatment says: there’s a symptom that needs a band-aid.

Recovery says: there’s a problem, and I can’t do it on my own to heal it.

The first step in Celebrate Recovery is,

“We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors, that our lives had become unmanageable. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. 

For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. – Romans 7:18

To truly begin – and continue working – recovery, the first step is always to identify there’s indeed a problem to the pains felt, and admit we are powerless to fix it.

During this step, the first principle of Celebrate Recovery is reminding us of just why we’re powerless:

“Realize I’m not God; I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and that my life is unmanageable. (Step 1)

Happy are those who know that they are spiritually poor. Matthew 5:3

The reason our lives don’t respond to treatment for any addictions, hurts, hang-ups or habits we encounter is that treatments only address a symptom – not the problem. And the only way to start the process of any true healing in life is to enter into recovery by recognizing a problem and that we can’t fix it (not even treatments/band-aids can).

Recovery is a returning to who we truly are – before all the unhealthiness sought to consume us like a ravenously hungry pack of wolves.

Recovery isn’t a band-aid. Instead, it a tool that facilitates us toward God to help us resolve unhealthy coping skills developed in response to pains and feelings that have been buried deep for a very long time.

No, it’s not easy. To dig up pain, hurts. However, nothing worthwhile ever is.

Our lives, in Christ Jesus, are worth it. Therefore, the effort it takes to work recovery  (with Jesus) is never in vain.

If you’re looking for a solution to the pains you’re struggling with, visit CelebrateRecovery.com right now and find a group in your area. If there isn’t a group nearby, that doesn’t need to stop you from obtaining your recovery in Christ. Feel free to email me so we can discuss your many options available to you, right now.