Does Life in Recovery Feel Predictable, Empty or Challenging?

  • Have you been clean and/or sober or working another 12-Step program for several years?
  • Do you sometimes question your commitment to your program of recovery?
  • Are you wondering if you are still an addict or alcoholic?

Maybe you feel stuck and find that no matter how often you go through the 12 Steps, clarity or relief seem elusive. You may be struggling with lingering depression, shame and regret from the past. Perhaps you realize that you were using your addiction to cope with painful emotions and worries, and now, years later you don’t know how to face the unresolved feelings rising to the surface. You might be facing new anxieties as your life in recovery matures, with all of the responsibilities of careers, relationships and adulthood. Are you struggling with existential questions about the meaning of, worth of and possibilities for your life? Do you wish you could let go of fear, anger and guilt and discover the real you?

Many people in long-term recovery experience feelings of boredom, doubt, sadness, exhaustion and depression. You may start every day with a meditation or prayer practice you adopted in early recovery, which now feels stale or less productive. Your days may pass without any crises or thoughts of relapse, and while you value your newfound stability, the predictable routine might have you wondering if there is more to life than this. Perhaps you are currently in a relationship and the work involved in communication and compromise has become tiring, especially as you question what love and commitment even is. You might be craving deeper, more meaningful connection to others, spiritual practices or techniques that can offer you new revelations about yourself and re-ignite your recovery again.

Many People in Long-Term Recovery Experience Feelings of Being Stuck and Lost at Times

The transition from early to mid and long-term recovery calls on individuals to look deeper into themselves meaning that not drinking or not drugging and going to meetings may not be enough for a fulfilling, engaged life. It is common to start asking, Is this it? Is there more than this? These are fundamental questions that all men and women in recovery address. Many people come to a place in their recovery recognizing a need to address deeper issues, which may be related to the underlying causes of their addiction. This is when persons in recovery seek outside help to work on deeper issues that are outside the traditional sponsor relationship. Frequently, sponsors recommend therapy when these issues are identified during a 5th step or another significant life-changing event.

Fortunately, there is a better way to feel satisfied and excited by life. With the support of a qualified therapist with experience in 12-Step recovery and long-term recovery, you can continue to deepen the work of healing, self-forgiveness and self-discovery.

Long-Term Recovery Counseling May Help You Engage in a Life of Health, Happiness, Self-Acceptance and Honesty

For many, the metaphor of cash-register honesty is a good way to describe the difference between early and long-term recovery. Initially, you practice honesty in its most basic form, with others, by keeping commitments you make, telling on yourself when thoughts of relapse surface and letting go of excuses by owning your behavior and making amends. As you move into long-term recovery, honesty moves inwards, and you begin to foster an honest relationship with yourself. For example, do you say yes when you mean no to others? Are you keeping yourself from moving forward by telling yourself excuses (lies)? The fuller, more actualized life is accomplished by developing rigorous honesty and integrity with one’s own self. During counseling, I can help you express your innermost truth in healthy, nurturing ways that may have been difficult or never seemed possible before.

In sessions, I will challenge you to identify and release old, lingering, negative beliefs about yourself that continue to limit the choices you make today. I will offer empathetic, nonjudgmental support as you discover how your thoughts place you into a victim, rescuer or persecutor role in your relationships, including the relationship with yourself. You don’t have to keep these negative beliefs either! Instead, you can create new and healthy beliefs about yourself and release victim consciousness, which can lead to stronger, more connected relationships in all aspects of your life.

In addition to my decades of experience as a therapist, I also know first-hand what long-term recovery is like. My career, my own struggle with addiction and my life in recovery have all led me to new tools and solutions that can help clients work through feelings of powerlessness and discover their innate strength and worth.

As your therapist, I can support you as you remove the blocks to making good healthy choices. No matter what challenges life has thrown or is throwing your way, I offer adaptive guidance and techniques so that you feel more empowered, confident and at ease. Long-term recovery can open new possibilities that may have never seemed possible before.

If your current support systems and recovery techniques have begun feeling worn-out and dull, it may be time to try something new. For over 20 years, I have helped individuals at all stages of addiction find the path toward a life free from the cycles of negative self-talk or patterns of harmful behaviors that all people are prone to. If you have long-term recovery, therapy can help you to re-light your path, enhance your work with your sponsor and/or support group and continue to develop deeper, healthier ways of caring for yourself.

You may believe that long-term recovery counseling can help you live a more empowered life, but still have questions or concerns…

Shouldn’t meetings be enough?

For many people, going to meetings is enough to maintain sobriety, overall wellbeing and a good quality of life. If you are finding it harder to go to meetings, or perhaps your calls to your sponsor have slacked off, your recovery program may need a more focused effort so you can live your best life. Counseling can enhance and enrich the work you are already doing in meetings.

Therapy will take me away from working with my sponsor or seeking solutions at the meetings.

Part of my role as your therapist is to advocate for and support the role of your recovery sponsor. As someone in recovery myself, I make clear distinctions between therapy and sponsorship and recognize that your sponsor plays an active role during and, especially, after therapy ends.

I will become like Stuart Smalley on Saturday Night Live. I’m good enough, smart enough and doggone people like me!

Certainly many clients have felt like the character Stuart Smalley on Saturday Night Live! Any affirmations that support you and your recovery are developed in the process of your work, and are not something you will be randomly or loosely given. They must be meaningful to your personal work, which means they must come from you.

Long-Term Recovery Therapy Can Help You Live A Meaningful and Balanced Life

If you are ready to enhance your recovery process, you are not alone. I invite you to email me for a free 15-minute phone consultation. I’m happy to answer any questions you have long-term recovery or my practice.