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Self-Advocacy In Recovery

As you continue to work through this transformational journey of healing and recovery, you’ll find that a variety of situations come your way. Healthcare teams, administration professionals, doctors, recovery leaders, peers and more will become part of your social support team as you discover more of what you need. If you’ve recently started a treatment program, you’ve likely started some assessments in order for your healthcare team to get a good idea of what they can do to help you the most. 

While it’s great to have a team of people who can help you in times of need, the reality is that only you will be able to truly understand what you need and what you don’t need in a given moment. They’ll be able to get some great ideas, of course, from talking to you and reviewing information about you such as your medical history, family history of abuse and more, but part of that entails being able to speak up for yourself and stand up for what’s going to help you – otherwise nobody will know.

What Self-Advocacy Means

Self-advocacy could be defined as believing in yourself and standing up for what you believe would be best for your mental, physical and spiritual health. At Enlightened Solutions, your needs are very well respected and listened to. Self-advocacy means being well-aware of your own needs and being able to articulate those needs to others, so they can help you in the best way possible. If you’re wondering right now of ways that you could serve as a self-advocate consider these ideas: 

  • Believe in your abilities. You know what you’re capable of, and what can push you over the edge. Trust your gut.
  • Decide on some recovery goals and stick to them. Create a vision for yourself, and set some goals for where you’d like to be in the next week/month/year.
  • Educate yourself. Learn as much as you can about your addiction and/or mental illness, so that you’re more informed about your experience and can get a better handle on what you’re going through.
  • Gather support. Surround yourself with people who want to be there by your side.
  • Speak for yourself. When the time comes, speak clearly and respectfully, using as little words as possible to explain what you need. Doing this helps to avoid any confusion.

Discover Who You Are

As you experience a variety of situations, you’ll come across moments where you’ve done an excellent job of speaking up to what you need. In other instances, however, you may feel bad afterwards because you didn’t handle the situation as appropriately as you should have. You must remember that recovery is a process with ups and downs, twists and turns, trials and errors – recovery takes time, and it’s all about learning who you are and working towards speaking your truth.

Previous research has sought to explore how self-identity is built throughout addiction recovery, and what researchers have found is that we all have an “inner story” that we tell ourselves about how our lives are going. Parts of the story we tell ourselves may be truthful, but other parts may be a complete lie. In order to be the most authentic version of ourselves, we’ll need to uncover the parts of our story that were perhaps hidden from ourselves – and this can require some digging. 

As you dissolve some of your past fears, and begin moving towards healing and restoration, you’ll find this feeling of truth that feels wonderful – and it all takes time to form.


Awareness is at the heart of finding ourselves and connecting with a power greater than ourselves, and addiction takes us away from that. 12-Step programs, however, guide us closer as we’re able to meet others who are walking similar paths as well as people who’ve become more confident in their own truth over time. Studies have found that by strengthening your sense of spirituality – or, in other words, connecting with a higher power – you’re less likely to relapse and more likely to remain strong on the path towards sobriety.

As you walk along this winding path, keep your eyes, mind, and heart open to learning from your experiences. Ask questions and reach out to people around you who can help you learn more about yourself; instead of seeing certain experiences as “black and white,” consider opening up your mindset to explore different scenarios that could potentially be the cause or reason. If you’re willing to adapt to various situations, you’ll find that you become wiser and stronger over time.

If you’re ready to begin the path towards healing, speak with someone from Enlightened Solutions today. The time to rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit is now – and the sooner you begin your treatment program, the sooner you’ll be on your path towards authenticity, discovery and healing. 

Mental health and substance use disorders often co-occur and must be treated simultaneously for the best chance of long-term success in addiction recovery. Enlightened Solutions understands that many people who are in recovery have experienced trauma during their lifetime. We want to help you heal not only from addiction, but also from trauma. If you or someone you know is battling a substance use disorder, call Enlightened Solutions today at 833-801-LIVE to learn how we can help on the road to a full recovery – mind, body, and spirit.

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