I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I don’t like rules. Let me rephrase that – I don’t like rules that don’t make sense to me, especially at this stage of the game. I am not defiant (I don’t think) and I am a good listener (if you present yourself well), but I find it very difficult to listen, when anyone tells me there are hard and fast rules on how to get and stay sober. I find myself bristling, because when it comes to successful recovery from addiction, I think the path must be blazed by the brave individual who is going on the journey… And at the risk of sounding trite, I think what works, works.
So does the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). In their “10 Guiding Principles of Recovery” they say:
Recovery occurs via many pathways
“Individuals are unique with distinct needs, strengths, preferences, goals, culture, and backgrounds – including trauma experience – that affect and determine their pathway(s) to recovery. Recovery is built on the multiple capacities, strengths, talents, coping abilities, resources, and inherent value of each individual. Recovery pathways are highly personalized. They may include professional clinical treatment; use of medications; support from families and in schools; faith-based approaches; peer support; and other approaches. Recovery is non-linear, characterized by continual growth and improved functioning that may involve setbacks. Because setbacks are a natural, though not inevitable, part of the recovery process, it is essential to foster resilience for all individuals and families. Abstinence from the use of alcohol, illicit drugs and non-prescribed medications is the goal for those with addictions…”