women recovery from addiction

Recovery from addiction is a long, winding road filled with ups and downs. It requires commitment, courage, and active participation. One of the most vital mindsets to have when working through recovery is to lean into the process. Leaning in means fully embracing the journey ahead with openness, willingness, and perseverance. It’s the opposite of resisting help or giving up when the road gets rocky. Leaning into recovery can make all the difference in reaching long-term sobriety. Here’s why it’s so important:

Get Comfortable with Discomfort

Early recovery is filled with discomfort. Withdrawal symptoms, cravings, and the inability to rely on substances to cope make for an incredibly challenging adjustment period. The natural response is often to recoil from the discomfort and do anything possible to feel better instantly. However, real recovery requires becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable. It involves leaning into the pain and sitting with it rather than running from it. When we lean in and let ourselves feel the discomfort fully, we build our distress tolerance. We remind ourselves that we can handle hard emotions without self-medicating. Leaning into the early difficulties of recovery creates emotional muscles that will serve us well in long-term sobriety.

Embrace Support Structures

Recovery is too enormous of a task to take on alone. We all need support systems to help us through it. However, it’s easy to resist help or isolate even when support is available. Leaning in means opening ourselves up to the assistance, guidance, and connections that can facilitate recovery. It involves leaning into the suggested recovery tools and professional treatment plans. It also means embracing the help offered by peers, sponsors, friends, and family. Rather than insisting “I can do this alone,” leaning into recovery is admitting “I need support, and I will accept it”. Making full use of the resources available eases the journey of long-term sobriety immensely.

Sit with the Root Causes

Addiction doesn’t sprout up randomly. It grows out of attempts to cope with underlying issues like trauma, mental illness, grief, and pain. Simply removing the substance doesn’t resolve those root causes. Long-term sobriety involves leaning into the origins of the addiction and sitting with their discomfort. Through counseling, support groups, and deep introspection, we can face the core wounds that led to addiction. Processing them and finding healthier coping tools isn’t easy or quick, but it’s a must. Leaning away from the real work of addressing root causes leads only to relapse. Leaning into them empowers true healing.

Make Time for Reflection

Looking inward is vital along the recovery road. We need regular self-reflection to track our progress, take inventory, and get to know ourselves more deeply. Yet it’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of life and avoid looking within. Leaning in means deliberately making space for reflection and self-inventory. We set aside time to meditate, journal, share openly in support groups, or talk with sponsors and counselors. We lean into quiet moments that allow our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors to rise to the surface. And we develop the discipline to pause regularly for inner work. Making reflection a priority provides invaluable insights that keep recovery moving forward.

Lean Into the Present

Early recovery often centers around regretting the past or worrying about the future. But real growth happens in the present moment. Leaning in means bringing our full attention to each day of the journey. We immerse ourselves in the lessons, challenges, and milestones of the here and now. Instead of getting mired in the past or jumping ahead to the future, we lean into the gifts of today. Showing up fully and mindfully for each step of the path allows us to get the most out of every part of the process. Remaining anchored in the present helps recovery unfold organically, one day at a time.

Owning the Process

Ultimately, leaning in means taking full ownership of recovery rather than leaving the hard work to others. It involves stepping up to do our part every single day, no matter how difficult. We admit that the addicted part of us would rather avoid the process altogether. But the recovering part knows that fully engaging is the only way forward. Leaning in means embracing that we alone are responsible for our recovery. We do the daily work, reach out for help, and persevere through setbacks. By claiming recovery as ours, we lean into the journey with intention and accountability.


Recovery demands a lot of us. The temptation to lean away from the discomfort and effort is incredibly strong. But leaning into the process with courage, humility, and self-awareness paves the path to overcoming addiction for good and achieving long-term sobriety. When we get comfortable with the discomfort, embrace support, explore our root issues, take time to reflect, live in the present, and truly own the process, we set ourselves up for the most fulfilling recovery possible. Leaning in turns “I can’t” into “I can”. It allows us to traverse the challenging road of recovery with empowerment, wisdom, and hope.

Dallas Sober Living House has created and safe environment and programs for men and women to lean in during their recovery journey.