What Does “Discover, Uncover, Discard” Mean Anyway?

Shampoo, for years, has provided instructions on the bottle that tells people to “lather, rinse, and repeat”. These three words give great directions on how to get the cleanest hair possible. In turn, this has become a universal phrase to do essential tasks in order. In recovery, this colloquialism can be related to the recovery phrase, “discover, uncover, and discard.” This common saying refers to peeling back the layers in a person’s recovery. Taking the necessary steps to get to the root of one’s addiction is imperative because drugs and alcohol are merely a symptom of a bigger problem.


Traumatic events are often the catalyst for significant pain. Often, people who suffer trauma suppress this pain with drugs and alcohol. Once sober, the pain will return, and the best way to get through it is to identify the cause. With this lifesaving information, the individual can start to work on using healthy coping mechanisms instead of drugs and alcohol. Discovering what has triggered addiction is crucial in determining the solution.


Once the cause is discovered, it’s time to look into healthy ways of expressing and processing the pain. Talking about stress, anxiety, depression, and pain in a therapeutic setting can make life livable again. Using 12-Step inventories can also aid someone in uncovering the patterns that lead them to drink and use. Even better, they can find their part in this behavior and stop repeating the insanity of their addiction.


Once the problem is revealed and a solution discovered, there is more work to be done. To get rid of the anguish, addicted people will learn to discard ideas and attitudes about their past. To this end, people in recovery often share their life stories with their peers. They reject the pain and replace it with experience, strength, and hope. They can pass this along to those who may be going through the same feeling. Sharing experience can provide both recovering addicts with the solution they need.

Resentments are the Number One Offender

Trauma does not begin and end with the traumatic incident. The pain is like a boomerang that never goes away. Resentments start to take shape in a person’s life, which creates denial and blame. Alcohol and drug consumption increase, causing more problems. When resentments continue to fuel someone, there is no way they can be happy. In turn, they use drugs and alcohol to avoid the real problem. Using the “discover, uncover, discard” method can make a huge difference in one’s perspective with resentments. A person who wants to change their outlook on life must learn to live without resentments. This method is only one tool in the recovery toolkit, which helps reduce discontentment in all areas of life.

You’re Only as Sick as Secrets

A person will remain sick until they rid themselves of their secrets. A lot of addicted people plan to carry their trauma with them to their grave. Rather than try to get over the pain, they keep the secret inside, which produces inner turmoil. Physical ailments, mental health issues, and spiritual sickness can take over the body in response to this shame and misery. Secrets prevent people from fully processing the trauma of their past since they refuse to share openly and honestly. Removing the skeletons from the closet is a step towards healing and understanding addiction.

Many people are embarrassed and mortified by their experiences. After all, that’s why these incidents remain locked inside. When they share with a trusted therapist or sponsor, the response is incredible. These people aren’t fazed by our “shocking secrets”. Instead, they remain nonjudgmental and supportive. In most cases, they have already heard similar tragedies from others who also suffer from addiction. Those who uncover, discover and discard their pain have a better chance of living a happy, joyous, and free sober life.

Offering a full range of recovery and mental health services, Detox Center of Colorado offers “Expanded Recovery” to enrich our clients’ lives in mind, body, and spirit. Through evidence-based therapy options and the endless adventure of Colorado, Detox Center of Colorado fosters connection. Clients are encouraged to connect with themselves, their peers, their families, and their higher power. With the power of recovery, clients are restored to full health and experience life-changing healing. Call us today for more information: 303-536-5463

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