If you have struggled with your powerlessness over your drug of choice, then the relief that you will have derived from abstinence in the past may have led you to believe that the hard part, stopping, was over.

In time, you will most likely discover that stopping was the easiest part of the recovery process. If you have not been introduced to the concept of the disease model for understanding addiction, it might be new information for you that we suffer with a disease of the body, mind, and spirit. Abstinence from your addiction will begin to address some of the physical aspects of recovery but the emotional and spiritual recovery that is required for long-term sobriety does not flow directly from just abstinence alone.

Seasoned recovery members are quick to note that while they might have “come for their drinking” they ended up “staying for their thinking.” And so it is with most of us. We come to recovery wanting to quell the storm of active addiction, stop the insanity of our drugs of choice, and establish abstinence. In time however, we discover that we were emotionally and spiritually ill. We will need to address those confusing aspects of our disease if we are to benefit from the bottom that we hit.

If you have been sober for a while, do not be too alarmed if the honeymoon of early recovery has begun to fade. You are discovering that the easy part of the recovery process is stopping and the challenging parts of recovery are found in the lessons you will learn about getting comfortable in your own skin.