Building a Strong Recovery Foundation

A sense of safety sets the stage for long-term recovery

The Foundations for Recovery

Here are some basic needs to think about. Use the time you are giving yourself to prioritize and structure these in a way that helps you feel safe to move forward in your recovery with a strong foundation in place.

Your Living Space

Think about your living situation. Is it safe for you to live there? Is it comfortable and clean? Is it free from damage, and provides sufficient protection from the outside elements? Is it free from stressors and things that trigger you to want to use?

Your Food Supply

Think about how you obtain food, what you obtain and how you prepare it. Do you have access to food markets? Do they have a good supply of nutritious foods? Are you able to purchase or obtain enough to last you a week? Do you know how to prepare meals for yourself? Do you have access to clean water and can drink enough during the day? Do you know what’s nutritious vs. what’s not?

Your Ability to Go Where You Need & See Who You Need

Think about how you get to where you need to go. Do you have access to your own means of transportation? Is public transportation available? Do you know how to use public transportation? Do you have internet access to do virtual visits? Do you feel safe with all these means of going and seeing who you need to see?

Your Sleep Habits

Think about what your sleep habits look like. Are you able to fall asleep quickly? Are you able to stay asleep for 7–8 hours at night? Do you feel rested when you wake up and begin the day?

Putting it All Together

These four elements can serve as the basis for your long-term recovery. Prioritizing these needs upfront and doing the best you can to address them may provide you with a strong foundation for your recovery. When these are all set in place, your mind can devote its attention to learning new skills for recovery. This most basic need of safety sets the stage for you to build your skills into good recovery habits and then behaviors; behaviors are what transform lives. That is what recovery is.



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Matt DeMasi

Matt DeMasi

Mental Health Professional, Synesthete, Foodie. My Real Housewives Intro would be: “I’m loud, proud, and Profound.”