Understanding Recovery

By Naami Resnick, M.S., LGPC, NCC 

Recovery is a word that gets thrown around a lot. Someone can recover from an illness. A person can recover an item they’ve lost. In the world of addictions, recovery is the healing process and it is an ongoing, ever evolving process. It’s more of a verb than a noun, a slow trek back from isolation and disconnection from self, to community, love and hope. Recovery is a person’s journey back to themselves. Substance Use Disorder (SUD) shows up in many ways. One thing it generally has in common though is that it isolates people. As people descend into SUD, they lose their sense of self. The substance becomes central to their daily routines. It becomes their why. At the same time, they slowly become disconnected from what formerly gave their lives meaning. Relationships, spiritual practices, work – they can’t compete with the high. So, almost without noticing, the isolation grows. September is Recovery Month, so I thought it would be appropriate to talk about what recovery means. Then I realized, it means something different to every individual. Each person’s journey looks different and contains its own unique challenges. However, there are some ways to support recovery that can be shared.  

  1. Refrain from judgement.  Recovery is truly a process. There are ups and downs, and good days and bad days. There are also bad days and worse days. We don’t always see the full picture and remaining non-judgmental is the best course of action.
  2. Let the individual know you care. Express your support. If you’re thinking about them, let them know. Even if you don’t really know what to say, connecting can be a powerful support.
  3. Educate yourself. There is so much information available. If a family member or loved one is using terms you don’t recognize, that can make you feel distanced from them. Close that gap! There is a wealth of information available. 

JCS offers a service for families of individuals with substance use disorders. The JCS Family Navigator helps family members get the information, support, and resources they need to cope with the stressors and challenges they may experience in response to their loved one’s struggles with the disease.  Learn more about the Family Navigator program at or contact: Naami Resnick, LGPC, NCC at 410-843-7460 or

Naami ResnickNaami Resnick, M.S., LGPC, NCC is a JCS Family Navigator 


JCS provides individuals and families throughout Central Maryland with a broad array of services and resources for emotional and behavioral health, aging and caregiving, parenting, job seeking, financial stability, and living with disabilities. To learn how JCS can help you live your best life, please visit or call 410-466-9200.   


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