Recovery from addiction occurs in stages. The middle stage occurs after the individual has achieved and maintained sobriety for some period of time and is able to return to a more normal life (one that is free of substances and addictive behavior). At this time, the individual has more confidence in their skills to stay away from using and continue to sharpen and refine their coping mechanisms. Working the various steps in 12-step groups, they likely seeks to repair damage (make amends) caused by their addiction and to work on restoring relationships, or develop new ones. The middle recovery stage can last anywhere from six months to five years, depending on personal progress. The key aspect of the middle stage of recovery is the ability to achieve balance, learn lessons and achieve goals they’ve set for themselves. In other words, they’re learning to apply sobriety to their lives.