Building a Life After Recovery: The Possibilities Are Endless

Building a Life After Recovery: The Possibilities Are Endless

At the beginning of recovery, we’re likely to feel vulnerable; we’re essentially entering a new phase in our lives that we haven’t embarked on before, and that can be pretty terrifying. Sometimes it’s the fear of success itself that holds us back – what if we make it? What if we don’t? What if we become the happiest we’ve ever been? The human race has been completely petrified by change ever since the beginning of time – and it’s because change means that we’re leaving a space we felt comfortable with.

Addiction can be a space of comfort because it’s a pattern that we’ve found security in. What we tend to forget, however, is that change is inevitable. It’s something we need in order to better ourselves – there’s no way around it. The best part is that success in recovery is possible and, if we can keep our heart and mind open to all the possibilities that are available to us, we’ll be much better off.

What is Success?

Success – despite what others may say – is a continuous journey and doesn’t have to mean solely money, status, or material wealth. Success is subjective, and could mean feeling passionate in one’s job, maintaining healthy relationships with a significant other, children and family members, actively participating in the recovery community, maintaining sobriety and so much more. The way you define success is what sets your vision moving forward, so it’s important that you think about this: if you were to envision yourself living your best life in 3 years, 5 years, 10 years – what do you envision? What are you doing? Who are you with, and what are you known for?

Tim Tebow, former professional football quarterback for the New York Mets, once stated his own explanation for success. He stated, “Success comes in a lot of ways, but it doesn’t come with money and it doesn’t come with fame. It comes from having meaning in your life, doing what you love, and being passionate about what you do. That’s having a life of success.”

Despite having doubts about what the future may hold, the reality is that there are so many incredibly wonderful opportunities out in the world for you – but you can’t benefit the way you should from them if you don’t have a healthy mind, body and spirit. This is where recovery fits in – and there are many people who have successfully live a sober lifestyle and who have healed from the past pains.

Success in Recovery: Personal Stories and Research

Jacques Hargrove, 64, struggled with heroin addiction and alcoholism for many years. He told his story to the New York Times in 2018, where he explained for the first time that after working hard in recovery, he graduated college and became a successful high school math teacher who is now nearing retirement. When asked why Jacques wanted to share his story with the New York Times, “He wanted to share it to ‘help others’ and to show that addiction doesn’t always last a lifetime.”

A 2017 study conducted by a researcher from California State University and published in the Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling sought to explore work-related experiences of those who’d been diligent in their addiction recovery efforts. Participants of the study noted that success varies depending on the individual – and while for some success may take longer than others, the path is what matters. In fact, Entrepreneur provides several suggestions for those on the road to success:

·    Define a vision, but let it be adaptable as you learn and grow over time. With new experiences and revelations, you may change some of the ideas that you originally had about what success means to you – and that’s okay.

·    Remember the whole picture. Life is going to be filled with ups and downs, but that’s all part of the journey. If you can embrace this and stay motivated towards the end goal, you’ll be much better able to work through the obstacles you come across step by step.

·    Be kind. Try to connect with those in your addiction recovery. Learn about others’ experiences. Be humble and get to know the people who are caring for you. We truly cannot become successful without other people to lift us up, cheer us on, and open up doors for us that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to on our own – so keep this in mind.

·    Maintain humility. We’re all human, and you can’t expect that you’ll never make a mistake in recovery. If you can grasp this concept early on, you’ll place a lot less pressure on yourself when mistakes do happen.

·    Be proud of yourself. Every step matters, no matter how small. To be successful in recovery means to embrace the fact that you’ve been courageous enough to better yourself and your life.

A 2016 study titled, “Strong-Willed But Not Successful: The Importance of Strategies in Recovery From Addiction” found that no matter how strong-willed a person is in recovery, it’s about the steps they actually take towards getting there. Develop a strategy. Stay motivated. Work hard, and don’t give up on yourself. Success is possible.

The mission of The Beach House is to provide success in the recovery process and elevate the standard of comprehensive addiction treatment. Located right on the coast of Malibu, California, expert clinical care and a holistic view of the recovery process is provided to ensure Best-in-Class treatment tailored to the needs of each client. If you’re ready to start your recovery journey today, call us at 310-924-0780.

Saving Lives; Healing Families.



Kimberly James

I am the founder and owner of The Beach House Treatment Center, The White House, Indigo Ranch, Sweetwater Mesa and Beach House Center for Wellness, all in Malibu, California.