The Two C's of Recovery
Consistency and continuity are essential for recovery. There I said it. I usually don’t like to make generalized statements about treatment because I’m more of an “it depends” type of person. It depends on the history, it depends on the severity, it depends on the context, it depends on the vulnerabilities of that day/hour/minute…it depends. This is especially true after seeing and experiencing certain aspects of treatment with those I work with. However, when discussing recovery, I can stand behind this statement wholeheartedly.
Recovery is a progression towards enhanced functionality, wellbeing, and peace of mind.
Through my work in clinical treatment of individuals, couples, groups and families, I have created a working definition of what recovery is for my practice. Recovery is a progression towards enhanced functionality, wellbeing, and peace of mind. There could be something preventing you from functioning to your fullest capacity from an emotional, spiritual, physical, cognitive or behavioral plane. By viewing recovery through this lens, we may feel a bit more empowered. This is something we can work on. We can take strides to improve our day to day which then in turn allows us to thrive.
Recovery is a commitment you not only make to the people around you, this includes your therapist, your significant other etc…but it is a commitment you make to yourself. It is asserting yourself. It is taking a step towards what you truly want and need. For this reason I have explored common themes throughout my work and am thrilled to share my findings with you.
The Two Cs and Why They Matter
Consistency and continuity work hand in hand in helping your recovery process along its path. You need both for recovery. Consistency describes doing something repeatedly until it becomes a part of your practice. Some examples include medication compliance, attending therapy appointments, following a meal plan, checking in with your sponsor weekly, going to meetings daily, etc…
This is a lot of unraveling we now need to do.
Continuity attempts to strengthen the longevity of recovery by doing something for a period of time. This means allowing a sufficient amount of time for your changes to gel or solidify. For my clients who struggle with eating disorders, I usually ask them how long they have been having thoughts about food, weight, and body image. For some, it could be a matter of months, and others a matter of years. Like many mental conditions, eating disorders are person specific and no two are alike. At that point I usually look at them and highlight the duration they have stated and express to them how interwoven these thoughts are with years of continuity. This is a lot of unraveling we now need to do. The reason that continuity is so important is because we need to allow ourselves time: time to process, time to endure, time to implement change, time to acclimate to that change, time to see if this is helpful. This is what continuity is about and we need to give ourselves sufficient time to allow for these changes to truly feel like they are a part of our lives. Recovery is possible.
How have you been practicing consistency and continuity?