Recovery from addiction is the process of stopping the use of drugs or alcohol and learning to live a healthier life without them.


Being Sober

Being sober means not drinking alcohol or using drugs at all. It’s the first and most important step in recovery. At the beginning, this can be tough, but it’s necessary to start healing.

Early Recovery

Early recovery is the first stage of overcoming addiction. This time is very important because it sets the groundwork for staying sober in the long run. It involves making big changes and facing many challenges.

Staying Sober

Staying sober means continuing to avoid alcohol and drugs while keeping up healthy habits over time. This takes ongoing effort and awareness to prevent slipping back into old patterns. It also means continuing to grow personally and dealing with any new problems that come up.

Long-Term Recovery

Long-term recovery means staying sober for many years, usually five or more. People who reach long-term recovery often feel much healthier, have better relationships, and enjoy a higher quality of life. They build a sense of stability and strength that helps them handle life's challenges without turning to drugs or alcohol.

Using Tools to Avoid Relapse

Avoiding relapse is crucial, and there are many tools to help with this:

·         Therapy and Counselling: Talking to a therapist, accessing group therapy or joining a support group can help you learn coping skills and deal with issues that led to addiction.

·         Support Groups: Groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) offer support from people who are also in recovery.

·         Healthy Living: Regular exercise, eating well, and getting enough sleep can help you feel better physically and mentally.

·         Stress Management: Activities like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing can help manage stress and emotional triggers.

·         Avoiding Triggers: Staying away from people, places, or situations that make you want to use alcohol or drugs is important.

·         Medication: Sometimes, medication can help manage withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings.

The Importance of Lived Experience

Hearing from people who have successfully overcome addiction can be very encouraging for someone just starting their recovery journey. Their stories show that recovery is possible and can provide practical advice and inspiration. Seeing someone else succeed can make you believe that you can too.

Annabel’s Story:

Before I came to The Living Room, my life had become unmanageable, but I hadn’t realised it. I was living in a state of chaos, drama, panic, and anxiety. I had bad coping mechanisms, always looking forward to and obsessing over my next binge, where I could escape and get a sense of relief. That’s how it had been for a very long time.

I realised something had to change after falling out with a friend due to my weird and irrational behaviour at a party after I had been using. This was something that had been a regular occurrence over the years. I heard about The Living Room from a friend and decided to give it a go. At the time, I had chronic low self-esteem but didn’t realise it. I called up The Living Room, and the receptionist was so lovely; she gave me an appointment to come in, and I felt seen and heard. My counsellor (who is in long-term recovery herself) did an assessment and listened straight away. She made me feel seen and heard, and I respected her enormously.

It felt daunting at first, but the group was so welcoming. Through coming to The Living Room, my life has flourished. I have become a better person. My self-care has improved, and my self-esteem is better. I came in trying to nip my addiction in the bud and realised I had underlying trauma and demons I had to face. Thanks to The Living Room, I have had the courage to look at my inner self and work through my problems head-on.

This has been one of the hardest and scariest processes of my life, but thanks to the counsellors and the group, I am better equipped to deal with my problems without resorting to bad vices. I owe The Living Room a lot. Thank you. I’ve made friends and meaningful connections. I have worked on my triggers and boundary setting, learning what they are and how to set them. Before I came, I didn’t know how to deal with my triggers without hurting myself or reacting explosively.

My motivation has also improved. My future is exciting, and I feel a sense of freedom. Because I have achieved early recovery, I feel like I’m in for a chance of a promising, prosperous, and fulfilling future. I have learnt so much I can’t even put it into words. The change that happens occurs on a cellular level. I feel as though my DNA has recalibrated. It’s like I’ve had a lobotomy. My thinking has evolved. I like myself again, or maybe for the first time.


Written by Adrienne Arthurs