The addiction recovery process isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon. In many cases, stopping to “smell the roses” can be exactly what we as men need to help us see how far we’ve come in our recovery journey, examine our thoughts and emotions, and gear up for the next leg. The recovery journey never ends, but there are certainly times where we can feel winded. After all, even the best of us are still human. When these times come around, reflection can help give us peace, confidence, and reassurance.
The National Institute of Health released a study in 2012 highlighting the importance of reflection in addiction recovery. In it, authors J. Prasko and P. Moszny indicated that “Recognizing one’s own emotions is a basic skill from which other skills necessary for both therapy and emotional self-control stem.”
An easy way to view a self-reflection is as a self-assessment. Even if we’ve been sober for months, reflecting consistently can help us identify issues that we may not have ever known we had otherwise. Even in a typical treatment facility, surrounded by mentors and brothers to confide in, we’re the only ones that truly know what’s going on inside our own heads. After reflecting, we may be able to identify issues that others can help us with.
Reflection benefits our lives because it allows us to take a deep look at ourselves, our situations, and how we’ve handled them– but it’s also important because it shows us the issues that still need fixing. As Prasko and Moszny pointed out, self-reflection isn’t just some ideal concept– it’s actually quite necessary for other processes like emotional self-control.
A great example of where self-reflection can be beneficial is in the case of a recent graduate that, after months sober, finds themselves in a living situation that forces them to be around a stressor, like a family member. Even if he knows the best and healthiest way to handle the situation based on what he’s learned here at Tree House, it wouldn’t necessarily be abnormal if he began to unknowingly act in a way that didn’t line up with his treatment. After all, no one’s perfect. He might find himself arguing back with that family member, or lashing out at others because of the added stress in his life. With a good self-reflection routine, however, he’d be able to recognize and nip this behavior in the bud, and reach out to his mentors and brothers for their help, support, and advice.
At Tree House Recovery of Orange County, California, we recognize how important self-reflection is for young men in recovery, which is why we teach our clients the skills they need to learn how to accurately and unbiasedly reflect on their recovery progress regularly. We’re committed to not just helping our men defeat addiction, but to making them stronger, more aware, and more confident in themselves. Call us at (855) 202-2138 to see how we can help you today.