Letting Go of Conceptual Limitations

Vital to my sustained recovery has been the realization that I must give up rigid thinking about the recovery process itself.

To gain the full benefits of recovery, there is no rule book, per se, that I (or anybody else) must follow. There are no definitions of recovery that are cast in stone, inflexible, or immune to change. Sure, there are steps, traditions, and personal histories, but these are merely guidelines, pointers, signposts, and bread crumb trails.

What exists in the way of organized groups, printed materials, slogans, definitions, and books are merely resources (albeit valuable resources) at my disposal, to be tailored and used as best fits my life situation and my ongoing recovery needs.

No one person has all the recovery answers. No single recovery group has a corner on the truth about how to recover. What all true recovering individuals and groups are encouraging is this: "Get started on the road to recovery and stay with it." The purpose of group therapy is to share experience, strength, hope and to emphasize the freedom of individuality and creativity of each person as they walk the road. It's a chance to say, "Here is where I was—maybe you can relate. Here is where I am. This is what worked for me."

Recovery gives me the freedom to be the single best person to determine what successful recovery means to me. What level of recovery is sufficient for me. Ultimately, my personal definition of recovery, as it applies to my life situation, is all that matters. Likewise, your personal definition of recovery, as it applies to your life situation, is all that matters.

As individuals in recovery, we are all striving for the same common goal. We are all climbing the same mountain, but finding different routes up the mountain. The goals are: serenity, balance, wholeness, emotional peace, healthy and fulfilling relationships, openness to learning, and sustained spiritual growth.

The very nature of the goals themselves excludes rigid and dogmatic thinking about the process used to achieve these goals. My personal responsibility, as a recovering individual, is to be open, receptive, and teachable regarding the process. These attributes, perhaps more than any other, are the hallmarks and traits of a person who has discovered a serendipitous and sustainable recovery.

Thank you, God, for opening my mind and my heart, my intellect and my emotion, to the wonderful blessings of recovery. Keep me teachable. Keep me learning. Keep me growing. Amen.

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APA Reference
Staff, H. (2008, November 22). Letting Go of Conceptual Limitations, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, May 23 from

Last Updated: August 8, 2014

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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