Recovery is About the Solution, Not the Problem

For so long we addicts and alcoholics lived in the problem and focused on what we were trying to escape from rather than how we were going to fix that problem and often times, we still find ourselves back there and get caught up in what is wrong, rather than what is right.

I have found that when I focus on what is wrong and how bad things are, then that is when things do not improve and I remain stuck and in pain, but when I focus on what actions I can take to create positive change, then that is when I can be grateful for what I have while focusing on what I can do to accomplish my goals and find solutions.

Putting down the substances is just a beginning

Recovery is not only about putting down the drink, drug, or behavior but it is about changing what brought us to that place of those maladaptive coping mechanisms and even after we get clean and sober we must use those same tools that freed us to deal with life and this is often not an easy feat and we must take action and more action.

The solution is in our head, the solution is in the program of recovery that we have adapted to and this new way of life.

I have also found that if I remain in the problem, then I am saying that I know what is best for me and that is what got me loaded for all those years. On the flip side, if I let my higher power who I choose to call God take control of things, then I can get into the solution more easily and find answers to my many problems.

I finally escaped active addiction by coming to acceptance that if I remained stuck in my head then that is when the problem became bigger and bigger and the solution became further and further away. I stay in recovery by doing some similar things, I do not stay in my head (the problem) and I get into the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, service, and doing the next right thing (the solution) and by doing so I remain clean and sober.

The solution to stopping drinking and drugging is getting down to the causes and conditions of why we drink and use in the first place and for us to do that then we must get into the steps, but even more than that we must get deeper into the steps and the solution, not only to stay on the path of sobriety, but to get down to those causes and conditions.

Every problem has a solution

The principles of recovery deal with everything that we may experience as we live in sobriety.




There are many others but I like to focus on the three A’s of recovery when trying to get out of the problem and into the solution. I find that by getting into a place of acceptance of a problem that I am more able to figure out what I can change and what is out of my control and this allows me to get into a place of action, which is where the solution lives.

Then I must take some sort of accountability for my behaviors and find out what I caused and what my side of the street looks like. The three of these combined make for a perfect recipe for getting out of the problem and into the solution and it is by doing that, where change happens.

I first must accept where I am at. Then I must take action to get the outcome that I desire. Finally, I must hold myself accountable for what I caused and my part in the whole situation.

These are important principles to live by and they are how we can find the solution to the problem and do so without picking up and drink or a drug or some other type of behavior. You see, that was our solution for a long time and now we are trying to find healthier solutions and that can be a challenge at times.

Change and growth take time

Change takes time. Growing takes even longer.

These can be hard pills to swallow for those new to the sober life and this is because we want what we want when we want, we do not want to wait and go through the processes that the situation requires. This is a tough thing for those new to recovery to grasp and this is because people want things now and do not want to take the steps to get there.

The way that we grow in recovery is to deal with the causes of the problems that we seek solutions to is through the steps. Of course, there are other paths towards growth and change, but what I have found that works the best in the search for a new way of thinking and acting is through the 12 step process of recovery.

The process takes time. It does not happen overnight, even though we sure would like it to.

I know that I have grown a lot since the obsession to drink and use drugs left me and a lot of change has happened for me along this path and this is because I focused on solutions to these issues and gave the process time and finally began to be patient with myself.

Get into the solution and you shall get a new life

The solution is where I live today.

I stay in the solution these days and because I stay in the solution, I get that new life and I get the promises of recovery and do not get the promises of living a life of active addiction. You know the promises of active addiction, don't you?

The promises of active addiction are …

Jails, Institutions, and Death!

I do not get those promises anymore and that is based on my actions in recovery and the life I have been gifted with from my higher power, a life of purpose, a life of hope, and a life of living in the solution of recovery and for this I am truly grateful.

Those who do not choose to live in the solution get the results of living in the problem.

They get pain, they get insanity, they get consequences. Today I do not get those other things and the same is true for millions of other alcoholics and addicts who have chosen recovery over misery, who have chosen life over death, and who have chosen the steps and the will of a power greater than themselves over the same old way of thinking and living.

The solution to life’s problems is to show up, suit up, and do the next indicated action.

I do that today and if you struggle with the problem of addiction and want change in your life then I know you will do the same. The path to peace and hope is through taking the action to achieve your goals and using the steps of recovery to get there.

The solution is simple, but this way of living is not easy. We must clean up our side of the street with a daily 10th step, admit our wrongs and harms with a 9th step, and carry the message to other sufferer by doing the 12th step and of course, do God’s will on a daily basis.

I believe it is by doing these things that we live in the solution and leave the problem behind us and find this better way of living and are happier and more serene and can live life on life’s terms in a way that we never thought was possible before.

The problem is centered in our minds, the solution is centered in our hearts and in taking right actions — we show up and by doing so, we become full of hope, peace, and purpose. One day at a time the solution is where we reside and one day at a time, it gets better!



Author, activist, American. Love to write everything from politics to recovery and much more. Find me on Twitter under my name for much more!

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Rob Clewley

Author, activist, American. Love to write everything from politics to recovery and much more. Find me on Twitter under my name for much more!