Why the Desire to Get Well Is the First Thing for Recovery

woman in green sweatshirt standing alone with trees behind her

“To wish to be well is a part of becoming well,” said the celebrated Stoic philosopher Marcus Seneca several centuries ago.

Stoicism is a style of philosophy that was founded in Greece at the beginning of the 3rd Century BC. It swiftly spread as a positive way to live on life’s terms – and in the past few years, it has been rediscovered, including by many celebrities.

Seneca’s quote reveals why there is such renewed enthusiasm: Stoicism is full of positive wisdom. In fact, though, the opening quote in this article can also be added to: and that is to say that the wish to be well is the first part of becoming well.

Breaking down can be waking up

Those people who get the swiftest recovery are those who really want it. That means they have a real burning desire to gain recovery.

They are absolutely sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. They hear mental health experts and see others in recovery – and they truly want what they hear and see.

It is why reaching a rock bottom is often said to be needed to get recovery or why breaking down can be the opportunity for waking up. Nobody wants to have a rock bottom or breakdown, but it’s a fact that it can be a real driving force.

It’s not essential to reach these terrible places. However, they are certainly a strong incentive to do everything that is needed to get well.

Healing the inner wounds

Some people do not consider or come into recovery because they think things will improve with the passage of time. Sadly – and sometimes tragically – this is most often not the case.

In fact, nearly always a mental health problem or condition will get progressively worse. For instance, if considering alcoholism, it is certainly not so that in most instances someone who is drinking a bottle of whisky a day started off like that.

Most likely at first, they drank alcohol like most other people around them did, perhaps a glass of wine with a meal or a couple of beers after work. But there was something inside them that needed to be dealt with – often trauma of some sort.

As the trauma was left untreated, the pain intensified. So they started to drink more in an attempt to mask and numb the pain.

Resistance is often the main problem

Consider that the word “trauma” derives from a word meaning “wound”. A trauma is an inner emotional wound and just as with a bad cut on someone’s body if it’s not treated it will never heal. In fact, it will most likely fester and get increasingly worse. 

One major problem is resistance. Often people are frightened because they know deep down that this is exactly where they need to go to heal – they need to fix that which is damaged in them, and is deep down inside them.

But when someone has the determination that they really want to get well, that is the first step of how they will get well. Then they need the right information about what to do.

They will need support and to keep working at it – making sure their recovery is at the top of their priority list at all times. Within the Alcoholics Anonymous literature, it says: “Half measures availed us nothing.” 

It is important to realize that it does not say the equivalent of  “half effort will achieve half success”. It says that half effort gets nothing.

To get successful recovery there needs to be full effort and dedication.

What are vital qualities needed for recovery?

Dedication is one of the other traits that’s needed. This is because when somebody’s recovery has started it needs to be maintained.

Think of it in terms of an airplane. It takes the greatest energy to reach the flight height. 

But then there still has to be a certain amount of energy to keep the plane flying high. If the engine is switched off, the plane will start to come back down again.

Or it’s just like getting fit through exercise and eating healthily for six months. If someone did this but then started lazing around eating junk food all day they will over time lose whatever fitness and good health they’ve gained.

Other important traits that are needed for a strong, swift and enduring recovery are courage; self-discipline; honesty; open-mindedness; and humility.

Many people will find these traits are with them when they might have not realized they were, due to feeling so low or struggling so much for so long. Then as they start to recover, they will often find these traits within them grow increasingly stronger.

This helps to continue their recovery until they are fully back on track. By then these positive traits will wholly be a part of them.

Our friendly experienced team has decades of experience in treating all emotional and mental health problems. We offer several successful proven treatments.

We are fortunate to be among the most beautiful natural setting to enhance wellbeing. A stunning tranquil lake is right next to our luxury mansion here, which has been carefully created with the relaxation and recovery of all our guests uppermost in mind.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you or someone you love.

David Hurst - Tikvah Lake Recovery

About David Hurst

David Hurst has four books published on mental health recovery, including 12 Steps To 1 Hero, The Anxiety Conversation and Words To Change Your Life. He has written for national newspapers and magazines around the world for 30 years including The Guardian, Psychologies, GQ, Esquire, Marie Claire and The Times. He has been in successful continual recovery since January 2002.

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