“True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.”-Socrates
When an addict recovers from their addiction, many important changes happen to them psychologically and physically. One important concept that recovering addicts begin to develop is wisdom, or “the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the quality of being wise.”
Prior to developing wisdom, addicts have “knowledge,” where they believe that they have all of the right answers. Wisdom takes knowledge one step further; it takes all of the information learned and applies it to different life situations. Wisdom is…
- Being mindful of your emotions and not letting them get the best of you.
- Looking at the bigger picture when thinking about surrendering to cravings.
- Researching all choices thoroughly before making an important decision.
- Listening to the other person’s side in an argument before fighting back.
- Helping others make decisions by using your experiences as a yardstick.
- Behaving and thinking rationally and logically.
- Using prior knowledge and experiences to make informed choices.
According to an article from atoncenter.com, wisdom is “noticing painful emotions and allowing them to rise and fall without feeling the need to stop them by distracting or drinking and using.” By combining your knowledge with your own judgment of previous experiences, you can begin to experience wisdom.
So, how does rehab transition addicts from being in a state of knowledge to a state of wisdom? For example, some rehabs have created specialized curriculums that concentrate on developing skills and techniques that can be applied in different situations. The skills that their residents learn help them “move from “knowing” to behaving with wisdom.
Some of these skills include:
- Assertiveness training (helps people stand up for themselves)
- “Self-soothing” techniques (helps addicts soothe themselves in times of temptation)
- Emotional management (helps people to rationally handle situations)
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (helps people gain an insight into the many approaches to problem-solving)
- Relapse prevention (helps residents learn to make positive decisions in the future)
By practicing different types of meditation (mindfulness, yoga, acupuncture, etc.) when recovering from addiction, addicts may experience many positive benefits such as “reminding the person to have meaningful, reasonable responses to current challenges or dilemmas.”
This rehab center focuses on the well-being of the person as a whole; they want their residents to develop the necessary skills that they need to become wiser. Once their residents become wise, they will not only be better equipped to handle life’s daily challenges but also their addictions in the long run as well. Their “holistic” approach to rehab results in a more rounded healing of their residents.
Some ways that Psychology Today says that people can become wiser:
- Mix your own interests with the interests of others
- Understand others instead of judging them
- Concentrate on the bigger purpose rather than temporary pleasure
Rehab clinics teach these skills. Wisdom is a much better skill to have going through life than simply having “knowledge.” Being wise allows you to help yourself AND other people; by being mindful of your own experiences you may help others get through their tough times, too. Certain rehab clinics teach this to their residents, resulting in them becoming more fulfilled human beings.
From the use of different holistic techniques and approaches, rehab centers can transition an addict’s “knowledge” into “wisdom.” The wisdom that addicts develop in the recovery process is beneficial to the other people around them in addition to themselves.