Category Archives: Recovering Intelligence


Phases of Recovery

Recovery does not happen at once. It occurs in phases. There are many theories regarding the correct number of phases and their length. Each theory is an opinion and is meant to act as a guideline. In general, the length of time it takes to complete each phase is mostly based on your efforts. Completing specific tasks doesn’t necessarily end a phase. Recovery can’t just be computed. It also has to be felt. Rather than completing tasks like a robot, attempt to sincerely connect with your full emotional experience and the spirit of recovery. This approach will give you a greater chance of success.

To achieve and maintain quality recovery, do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes!

Phase One: Primary Recovery

Phase One, the primary recovery phase, starts the day you commit to your recovery and extends for about six to twelve months. The goal of Phase One is to develop the foundation you need to be successful in recovery. In this early recovery period, it’s vital to open up your mind and build a support team. Listen to trusted others, work with a mentor, and, if required, seek the advice of a MD. Work within a recovery structure, completing needed tasks and goals.

Withdrawal from drugs and sugar occurs during the beginning of the primary recovery phase. Your initial treatment program is completed during this phase. The supportive treatment that follows primary care, is usually called continuing care or aftercare. This aftercare is very valuable. Make use of it!

It’s essential that you stay actively involved in your recovery throughout Phase One and beyond. It is widely believed that you should maintain a solid recovery structure for at least two years; however, you need to be involved in your recovery for as long as is necessary to be successful. Many people stop participating early and relapse.

Phase One: 6-12 months building a foundation - Listen, learn and follow.

The Three Major Stages of Primary Recovery are:

Withdrawal: During the initial period of physical and emotional withdrawal, you need to focus on taking care of yourself. Consume quality nutrition, drink water, and exercise; be around supportive people and attempt to do small but positive and productive tasks. Stay focused on necessary and immediate needs and issues you can do something about. Initial drug withdrawal will take between a few days to a few weeks (six or more for marijuana). For some medications, it takes years for full withdrawal.

High-quality nutrition reduces withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

Honeymoon: As you start to become healthier, you may feel overly happy with your newfound recovery. The return of your health, energy, and brain chemistry may make you feel ready to go. You may have thoughts of ending treatment. Be very careful! This sense of well being isn’t entirely whole. You aren’t healthy yet. It takes time to heal, so don’t take on things that are unnecessary. Focus on building your recovery. Usually, this honeymoon feeling will last about three months, but it varies according to the person and the addiction.

Always remember your negative using history! Especially if early recovery is easy!

Facing Reality: The truth of your reality at this point may be more about the wreckage than the rewards, and that’s hard to deal with. You’ll come down from the honeymoon period and remember that parts of recovery are hard, not just positive and happy. This becomes a risky period. At times, you may feel like going back to old, familiar situations that provided a false sense (even briefly) of happiness. Because early using memories may be pleasant, they can easily be romanced. Remember, this is a relapse symptom. Breathe and face reality. It is the only way you can move past the wreckage.

Always remember your negative using history! Especially if early recovery is easy!

During Phase One, many people will feel better quicker than expected. This may lead them to question if they were as sick as they thought. Always remember your past. Your recovery process should follow a proven approach that works for you, and then add personal aspects to meet your unique needs.

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View Your Recovering Future Twice Daily

In early recovery, it’s generally best to follow a program that has worked for others. There’s no one approach that’s best for everyone. Today, you should have several options available to choose from. In early recovery, select a program that is easy and simple for you to follow. Your first program doesn’t need to be complicated or intense.

A thriving life demands an adaptable, flexible, and expandable style. The order of the following task areas is only a suggestion; however, all seven are important.

 Your Approach:   Learning and Using Effective Resources – How you enter and think about recovery highly affects your outcome.

Find: Support, guidance, modeling.

Develop: Recovery and spiritual practices.

Your Recovery Skills:  Foundation – Follow a path that has proven its value. Set up your recovery plan for primary and secondary addictions, create a relapse prevention plan, learn tools and strategies, and use reminders to remember to practice and to employ these tools and strategies often.

Your Awareness Opportunity – Use each opportunity to learn about yourself, recovery and relapse issues, tools and strategies, and faith; take responsibility, make clearer and better choices. Without awareness you have no chance to succeed.

Managing Your Life:  Responsibility – Managing change: Take care of yourself by developing your mental, emotional, nutritional, physical, social, and spiritual health, as well as your recovery and relationships. Find a recovery guide (someone who has already done this) to help you.

Your Personal Work:  Resolving and Managing Issues – Problem solving model: Examine addictions, family history, problem solving and conflict resolution styles; deal with emotions, physical and relationship issues, relapse triggers and symptoms, and Post Acute Withdrawal Symptoms (PAWS).

Your Personal Growth Expanding, Engaging, and Living Fully – Observe, assess, and evolve; pursue social, emotional, physical, and spiritual growth; engage in the purposeful life that you want.

Accept and Embrace Mental-Emotional Shifts

Your Mental Shifts:  Expanding Perception and Focus – Major mental and emotional (paradigm) shifts will happen when you gain significant knowledge and perspective about yourself. Your attitudes, beliefs, emotions, identity, self-esteem, recovery, and spirituality will all be affected and change.


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Recovering IntelligenceTM – These highlight boxes focus on intelligent recovery options for building and maintaining your recovery.

Recovering Intelligence boxes remind you how to think, feel, and behave in order to create and maintain successful recovery. RI boxes help you to review what has worked and what hasn’t worked in your life; and to then build on what worked by adding knowledge, tools, strategies, and positive experiences to it.

  • To develop a high level of RI, you must do the following:
  • Accept and embrace self-awareness.
  • Develop the ability to observe yourself and your situation accurately.
  • Understand how to set up, work, and live an effective personal recovery program.
  • Learn the Seven Intelligences of Recovery. Develop and use them until they become part of who you are. (See list below.)
  • Understand how your past behavior, roles, strategies, situations, and decisions helped form the values, attitudes, and beliefs you have today.
  • Develop a basic understanding of who you are – your issues, your addict and sober personality, and the strengths that worked well for you in the past.
  • Understand self-development and actively engage in your personal growth.
  • Learn how to achieve your tasks, goals, and dreams and build Your Recovering FutureTM.


The Seven Intelligences of Recovery

These intelligences can overlap. They are:

  • Emotional Intelligence: The ability to know your feelings and how to effectively deal with them.
  • Growth and Healing Intelligence: The ability to evaluate, learn, and grow; and to apologize, forgive, and heal from life injuries.
  • Intimacy Intelligence: The ability to open up, to trust, and to bond with important people in your life.
  • Resiliency Intelligence: The ability to bounce back from life’s setbacks and live a full life.
  • Social Intelligence: The ability or desire to know someone’s feelings and how to relate to them.
  • Spiritual Intelligence: The willingness and ability to open up to your Higher Power.
  • Success Intelligence: The ability to clarify what you need and want, then find and use the best resources to achieve your goals and dreams.

As Recovering Intelligence becomes your personal reminder of the kind of life and recovery you want, you’ll use it to build the vehicle that will carry you into your quality recovering lifestyle. Your Recovering Intelligence will give you the ability to create Your Recovering Future.


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