Defining Healing: What Does Success Look Like to You?

Addiction Recovery Publishing Addiction Recovery September 19, 2023

Defining Healing: What Does Success Look Like to You?

The ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius once wrote, “Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation, there is sure to be a failure.” So, what does this mean when it comes to success and defining healing for you? It means that success is actually accomplished before it even manifests. Success is an action. As another great mind and iconic artist Pablo Picasso once said, “Action is the foundational key to all success.” But, still, what does that success look like to you?

Defining Healing: What Does It Mean to Recover at the Cellular Level?

Here at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, we believe that healing can never simply be skin deep. It must take place on a cellular level. That means that the whole mind-body system must be addressed, from the physical to the mental to the psychological to the behavioral and so on. This is healing on the cellular level. Everything is addressed to its core root issue. When this happens, this is what success looks like to us. However, success in recovery is not a one-way street. We have our road map, but ultimately success must be defined by you. Now, we just know how to help get you there.

When it comes to defining healing, it is important to be malleable in what that means to you. For example, when we first decide to recover, our concept of success will most likely look much different than it does after we have been in treatment for 30 or 90 days. Initially, success may look as simple as not taking a drink or using a substance for 24 hours, and as anyone that has struggled with active addiction knows, that most certainly is a success in early recovery.

However, after some time of healing in recovery, the idea of success will most likely have evolved. For example, it may look more like reassessing a work/life balance, becoming more involved with family, or perhaps a renewed focus on your physical wellness. All of these are prime examples of what success may look like in recovery. Most likely, success will look like some type of hybrid that includes all of those things and more. However, one of the key elements of success in recovery is that it must come from you. Ultimately, only you can define what success will look like for you.

Defining Healing and Setting Goals: What Does Success Look Like to You?

However, while success in recovery should be individualized, it is also best accomplished by working with others. There is a saying often used in many recovery communities that goes, “This is a we program, not a me program.” While it may seem a bit paradoxical, to accomplish our individual goals, it often takes a team to help us get there. This is especially true in recovery, and this is our promise at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab. You will set your goal and define your success, and we will help you get there.

So, what does setting goals in recovery ultimately look like? First, while healing must take place on a cellular level and must become comprehensively involved, it should start with a game plan. For example, addiction often leaves us wholly depleted of necessary vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients. As a result, one of the first checkmarks on the healing list should involve nutritional healing

Second, there may be some emotional issues or trauma associated with our addiction that need to be addressed. As a result, it is important to set up an effective schedule of therapy and psychotherapy that will begin to address those underlying core root issues. Third, the way we view ourselves, the outside world, and how we fit into it may be negatively and unhealthily skewed. As a result, it becomes time to reshape the narrative and start to create the outline for your success.

What Does It Mean to Reshape the Narrative?

When it comes to defining healing and reshaping the narrative from a place of active addiction, it is important to remember that our addiction (personified) has no intention of flipping the script anytime soon. The only narrative addiction wants to continue to write is one that continues to fuel itself and keep you unwell. 

This is why it is critical to begin to define what our healing and success look like and what we want our narrative to be early on in recovery. Why is this? The reason is that, as is often said in recovery, “Addiction is cunning, baffling, and powerful.” Now, the window in early recovery can be relatively small before the remnants of our active addiction try and pull us back. So, we must take advantage early.

The truth is that addiction often robs us of everything that we hold dear. It can take away our ability to perform at our optimal levels at work. Also, it can cause turmoil and disconnect within our home lives. Ultimately, it can take us to the brink of losing everything, even our lives. Before we know it, addiction has written our story for us, and it has also written us into a corner that we feel we may never escape. The good news is that, in recovery, we get to rewrite our story in a satisfactory and successful way. One of the ways that we can do this is via what is known as narrative therapy.

The Benefits of Narrative Therapy

According to Doctors Hall and Powell in their 2010 peer-reviewed article, Understanding the Person Through Narrative, What makes narrative powerful is its singular ability to be both comforting and dangerous. What is culturally essential about narrative is its singular capacity to remind us that both comfort and danger, joy and plight, not only can be reconciled, but may actually require one another” What this means is that narrative therapy is much more than simply telling a story. It is actually similar to healing on a cellular level. Ultimately, it is getting to the absolute core essence of what our story is. When that happens, we can begin to assess, address, and transform it.

While it is comprehensive and complex, much of narrative therapy is about the story that we tell ourselves. This story includes the way we see ourselves, the way we see others, and, pivotally, the way we see others as seeing us. When we do this with the help of a professional narrative therapist, we often find that the narrative that we have been telling ourselves is not only skewed and toxic but it has also become detrimental and dangerous. 

Then when we see the skewed reality of the way we view ourselves, we can engage in a discourse that can help us reframe not only our view of ourselves but also the direction we want our story to go. An ideal way of making this happen is through the therapeutic art of journaling.

Utilizing Journaling to Get to the Core Root Causes of Our Problems

The iconic writer, teacher, and author of the influential personal growth text, The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron, once said that “Writing is medicine. It is an appropriate antidote to injury, and it is an appropriate companion for any difficult change.” This is the essence of how journaling can help us grow and evolve in our recovery. Also, this is where defining healing and success can really start to take root.

Journaling can be particularly effective because it can be the glue that binds all other aspects of a recovery plan together. While it may take time to get adjusted to the ritualistic aspect of journaling, it can help us breakdown not only our past narrative but also track how our progress in recovery is going.

Journaling can also help us in defining healing by allowing us to compose our mission statement and goals in a more concise way. This may not come at first, and it may not even come consciously, but over time the individual journal entries may start to form a narrative that you may not have even been aware of. It may unearth core root issues that are ultimately correlated to your negative behaviors. 

Also, it may show you how much you have progressed in recovery in such a short amount of time. It may also show you the type of success you either forgot that you wanted or new future successes that you weren’t even aware that you wanted to achieve. This growth is also the essence of personal development, which is crucial to long-term recovery.

Defining Healing: The Importance of Personal Development

Here at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, we don’t believe in “quick-fix recovery.” Our goal is to help you build a foundation on which your recovery will not only be successful but will be strong enough to hold all of the successes that await you on your journey. This is why we have a focus on each of our client’s personal development. Also, “personal” is the keyword there.

Just as we don’t believe in “quick-fix” care, we don’t believe in “cookie-cutter” care either. No two people’s journeys are the same. Therefore, no two recovery plans should be the same. In life, everyone is going to experience personal development in their own way and on their own timeline. The same is true in recovery. However, at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, we have extensive and comprehensive tools to ensure that personal development is healing, healthy, and successful. One of the ways that this development happens is via that experiences that can only be had on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Utilizing Experiences to Grow in Recovery

When active addiction takes hold, the experiences we have are generally very small and damaging. Active addiction eventually becomes a vicious cycle of the same behaviors that offer diminishing rewards and little opportunity for new experiences. A life in recovery can eliminate that lack of fulfillment and experience completely. It makes the small world of addiction large again. 

These experiences can be had through what is known as “experiential learning.” According to the clinical journal, Frontiers in Psychology, ”[experiential learning] provides a holistic model of the learning process and a multilinear model of adult development. It emphasizes the central role that the person’s subjective experience plays in their learning process. Learning from both cognitive and emotional perspectives is at the heart of experiential learning.” This is also what is at the heart of most experiential therapies. 

What Exactly Is Experiential Therapy?

While it is certainly more complex than this, experiential therapy is a therapy by which we learn and grow through the experiences that we have. There are many ways of doing this. It can take place through the experiences we have when we create art, such as painting or sculpting. Also, it can take place in the way we perform and act as happens in drama therapy or performance therapy.

Experiential therapy can also happen in the way in which we interact with our surroundings, which is the essence of nature immersion therapy. It can also happen in the way in which we cultivate our surroundings, which is embodied in horticulture therapy. These therapies are experiential in their own right, they offer their own unique benefits, and they are uniquely exceptional to experience on the Big Island of Hawaii. 

The Benefits of Nature Immersion Therapy

Nature immersion therapy is an ideal way to reconnect to yourself by way of reconnecting to the world around you. The truth is that the world we live in is often insulated by synthetic stimulations that have been brought about by the tech boom of the 21st Century. While, of course, all of those technology boons are amazing, it is important to break from them in order to find success in cellular-level healing.

According to the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, “Besides physical health improvements, nature exposure can bring about positive influence upon psychological constructs such as boredom, friendliness, well-being, and liveliness.” The journal also points out that “Besides improvements to physical and psychological well-being, exposure to natural environments has been shown to bring about positive impacts on cognitive functioning.” Also, there is no better place to experience these benefits than on the Hamakua Coast on the Big Island of Hawaii.

At Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, you will be able to experience nature immersion by exploring some of the most amazing mountains and waterfalls, viewing live volcanoes, and swimming with tropical fish, green sea turtles, and the majestic manta ray. These experiences will help you define success with a perspective that you may have thought impossible while still engaged in active addiction. This is also true with the unique horticulture therapy that we offer directly on our luxury 30-acre property.

The Benefits of Horticulture Therapy

Many people may not be fully aware of the benefits that working with and creating the food we eat can bring. Here at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, we believe that “food is medicine.” This is not only why we have an incredible nutrition therapy program and licensed nutritionists, dieticians, and a naturopathic doctor (ND) onsite 24/7 but also why we offer our clients the chance to interact with their food, quite literally, at the root level.

Horticulture therapy can be like a metaphor for our goals, gains, and successes in recovery. It allows us to see what happens when we plant a seed (accept help), nurture it (take action), and reap the reward of our labor (enjoy success in long-term recovery). On our property, you can see the successes of past clients in the form of the rows and rows of beautiful fruit trees of lime, orange, tangerine, and everyone’s favorite here on the island, longan. You will also plant your own success to inspire the others that come after you.

Defining Healing at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab: Successful Long-Term Recovery Over Short-Term Gains

Ultimately, success comes down to the individual. What do you want out of life? For those of us that chose to go into recovery, the first answer to that question is most likely clear: simply to live life again. But what comes after that? What does success look like on the cellular level?

At Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, we are here to offer you the opportunity to form a vision of success that is entirely your own, entirely achievable, and, most perhaps most important, heals you from the inside out. We know what defines healing for us, and we invite you to come and let us help you define it for yourself.

Everybody’s recovery journey is different. Therefore, it is important that they carve their own path to tell their story. Ultimately, how and what success looks like to them is up to them. At Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, we empower clients to better shape their narrative and teach them that their recovery journey is their own. Also, individualized care is critical at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab. We work with every client to carefully craft a recovery plan that will suit their needs and help them heal at the cellular level. If you feel like you or a loved one is struggling to get to the core root causes of your addiction, we can help. For more, contact Exclusive Hawaii Rehab at (808) 775-0200.