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Independence in Recovery

Independence is a word that many of us love—and not just on the Fourth of July. We all want to be independent. We all want to be self-sufficient. We want to be able to thrive and succeed without having to rely too heavily on anyone else.

This is an inclination that many of us bring into the recovery process. Substance use and mental health disorders may cause us to need others, for money or for support or for everyday care. In recovery, we hope to be free from this. We hope at last that we can stand on our own.

This is not how it works though, and it is important to be clear that recovery is not really about independence, but rather interdependence. You may never need the support of other people more than you do while you are in recovery. You will need to lean on your friends and loved ones to provide stability and encouragement as you face the daily rigors of recovery.

That is a big part of what the recovery process is. It is about learning to give up the idea that you can always do everything on your own. Certainly, recovery will provide you with strength and confidence, but it will also help you understand how much you need the people around you. Having strong support systems helps you overcome the obstacles and difficulties in recovery.

As you reflect on your own recovery journey this summer, think about some of the ways you can embrace interdependence. Make sure you are attending your support group meetings, and be willing to share your story. Be proactive in having relationships with your friends, siblings, parents, and other loved ones. Let them know how much you value their support and their love.

Interdependence is vital for full recovery.

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