The Four Dimensions of Recovery
Every person’s recovery journey looks different. For some people, it’s one step forward, two steps back. Others have a major rock-bottom moment and never look back. A lot of us fall somewhere in the middle. All told, recovery can be a winding road. Giving yourself grace through each section of it makes a HUGE difference.
That doesn’t mean that the best recovery resources only work for some people, though. In fact, experts agree that no matter how your recovery journey looks, success means including four specific dimensions. Don’t believe us? Check out the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and MentalHealth.gov.
Since these four dimensions seem to be well-supported across the board, we thought they were worth calling out. The four dimensions of successful support for recovery are:
First up, it can be hard but helpful to acknowledge that addiction is a disease. And like any disease, it can take a toll on your health. Like any disease, too, it can be helpful to get a health professional (think: a therapist and/or doctor) involved to support yourself.
It’s also important to realize how much the health choices you make impact your ability to stay on your recovery journey. Getting enough sleep, regular exercise, and healthy meals all support your mental and physical health. And staying healthy means you feel better and more able to fight cravings and stay the course.
Stability and safety are HUGE when it comes to recovery. You need a place of refuge. That doesn’t mean living somewhere you don’t feel secure or with people who will pressure you to partake in your addiction.
This can be tough. But the place you’re living will either help or hurt you — there’s no middle ground. If you don't feel safe and stable in your current living situation, take this as your sign to make a change. You need a good home to lay the foundation for your next season of life. And, just as importantly, you deserve one.
Walking the road to recovery gets easier if you have a direction to head. Take some time to think about what brings your life meaning. Is it relationships? Work? Hobbies? Whatever it is, lean in.
If you’re having trouble finding meaning, consider finding purpose in:
- People in your life who need help
- Volunteering for a cause that means a lot to you
- Something creative that makes you feel good
- Earning enough income to support your independence
- Creating a community for people you care about
Still struggling? Start asking other people where they find their purpose. Keep a gratitude journal and look for things that come up regularly. Or find purpose in your recovery itself. Know that the story you’re building now could inspire someone in the future.
We’ve already alluded to this but it’s well worth calling out specifically: the people around you matter for your recovery journey. They can either provide the support you need or become stumbling blocks.
Deepen relationships with friends and family who make you feel safe and loved. When you’re ready, open up to them about the path you’re on. A good community can be a HUGE source of support, accountability, and inspiration.
If you don’t feel like you have people in your life who will get it, look for addiction groups in your area. You’ll be joining up with a bunch of people in the same boat who truly understand what you’re going through.
And don’t forget that we’re here. We don’t just make delicious cookie dough. We also have our Doughp4Hope campaign specifically designed to support people on their recovery journey and bust stigmas about mental health. We’re rooting for you!