Addiction is an illness that affects the mind, body, and spirit. Depending upon the drug, addiction can do severe harm to the body. It’s very common for addicts to ignore their nutritional needs by eating poorly or hardly eating at all. Addiction can also change the brain in ways that can make them believe they need the drug to survive. And many recovering addicts know that addiction can change the way they feel about themselves, others, and the world.
The 8 Dimensions of Wellness
Because of this, recovery from addiction is an entire lifestyle change. It’s a healing process that may require various professionals from various healing fields. For instance, in 2011, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSA) launched the National Wellness Week where they’ve outlined and promoted eight dimensions of wellness. These include:
Emotional—Being able to manage life effectively and sustain satisfying relationships
Environmental—Ensuring that the environments in which you spend time are pleasant, stimulating, and support well-being
Financial–Finding satisfaction with current and future financial situations
Intellectual—Recognizing your creative and intellectual abilities as well as finding ways to expand knowledge and skills
Occupational—Getting personal satisfaction, fulfillment, and meaning from one’s work
Physical—Recognizing the necessity for exercise, healthy foods and sleep
Social—Having strong connections with others, having a sense of belonging, and developing a network of support
Spiritual—Expanding your sense of purpose and meaning in life
Resources for the 8 Dimensions of Wellness
Considering these dimensions of recovery, you might consider finding the following support to assist you on your journey of healing from recovery:
Emotional – Therapist or drug counselor
Environmental – Sober living home or another type of sober living environment
Financial – Financial advisor or bank representative
Intellectual – Addiction specialist or another professional who can provide information on the illness of addiction and how to heal from it
Occupational – Job placement representative or vocational rehabilitation worker
Physical – Doctor or nutritionist
Social – 12-step community or another community of sober individuals
Spiritual – 12-step sponsor or church staff
Of course, at the start of recovery, you’re likely going to be focused on one thing and that’s sobriety! You’re not going to have the desire to consider all that’s listed above. However, as your recovery grows stronger, and as you feel more confident in your sobriety, you may begin to reach out for other forms of help. You might begin to seek out sources of support that help you change other facets of your life. In fact, SAMSHA would encourage that. Read SAMHSA’s vision for recovery:
We envision a future in which people with mental health and substance use disorders pursue optimal health, happiness, recovery, and a full and satisfying life in the community via access to a range of effective services, supports, and resources.
This article isn’t meant to make you feel that you need to do more than you already are. Instead, it’s meant to encourage you to seek other sources of support when you’re ready. Take your time. Recovery is a healing process that is multi-faceted and you deserve a life that is fulfilling and satisfying.