When you hear the word rehab, or rehabilitation, you might think of a certain type of treatment for addicts and even criminals. You might think of a program administered by a state-run organization that you’re required to attend in order to have certain privileges in your life. Certainly, the word rehabilitation means to recover. It means to restore your life to a point prior to any mental or physical disease. Although state-run or publicly administered programs might feel like obligations and even burdens, the point of these programs is to facilitate healing and restoration.

However, if you were to pull that word close into yourself, if you were to really take ownership of that word, then you might discover what rehabilitation means to you. And it could be unique to you and your life. For instance, perhaps prior to any drinking or drug use, you recall your family life being at ease. There was little fighting and yelling. There was hardly any abuse, and perhaps there was some kindness exchanged from time to time. Perhaps then restoration or rehabilitation to you means kindness or positive relationships or appreciation of each other.

Another example might be the use of drugs and alcohol. Perhaps before your mother died, you didn’t have any need to turn to drugs or drinking. Aside from the small hang-ups here and there, your life felt fine. But when she passed away, the hurt inside was too great and drinking took away the pain. So, perhaps you drank for a few years in order to get through the pain of her loss. Perhaps then for you rehabilitation means ending the use of drugs and alcohol. Although your mother isn’t around anymore, recovery might mean finding a healthy way to live your life as though she were still in your heart. For you, rehabilitation might mean restoring your relationship to yourself and to your deceased mother.

You might see that rehabilitation doesn’t have to be defined from an external source. Sure, those programs provide structure and organization to give you something to hold onto in the beginning. For instance, at the start of your recovery, you might not know the first steps to take in order to get sober. Although it might seem obvious to some – it means stop drinking or using drugs – period. But for others, the idea of ending their substance use might create great anxiety. Therefore, having a firm structure and daily schedules for sober activities can facilitate healing in a way that you can’t do on your own.

However, even though those programs provide the external structures and schedules, rehabilitation must be defined for yourself. You might move through a treatment program, for example, but if you haven’t defined recovery for yourself, then you might reach the end of a treatment program and still wonder how you’re going to feel better about your life.

When you give your recovery meaning, you significantly add to it. Below is a list of reasons that others have used to give them the motivation and drive to recover. These reasons put meaning into their daily choices and behaviors.

  1. To stop the pain.
  2. To not worry about hurting others around me.
  3. To finally rid myself of all the bruises.
  4. To feel safe in public places.
  5. For my teachers and instructors who believed in me.
  6. So that people can get to know who I really am.
  7. To come out of hiding.
  8. So that I no longer feel like I am living a double life.
  9. Because life has so many beautiful moments in between the bad ones.
  10. To feel as though I’ve finally accomplished something.
  11. I don’t want to ruin my second chance at life.
  12. Because I am starting to love myself.
  13. It’s my turn to take control.
  14. I want to make my own choices in life.
  15. I want to maintain positive relationships with those I love.
  16. I want to be okay with who I am.
  17. I want to earn the trust of other people again.
  18. I want to believe that I am not a failure.
  19. I want to stop hurting myself.
  20. I want to live a happy life.

These reasons for recovery were adapted from the site www.100reasonstorecover.com. There you can find many more reasons to inspire you to rehabilitate. Find what’s meaningful for you!

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