Addiction recovery is not something that happens overnight. Instead, it needs to be thought of as a process that will take time. There may be some difficult times along the way, and it may take more than one try for a person to give up a substance or activity they are addicted to.
The first thing keep in mind when considering what addiction recovery is like is to understand that if a person is going to break free of addiction, they need to admit that they have a problem and want to get help for it. Many addiction counseling resources talk about the addict "hitting bottom" before they ask for help. This is the point at which the negative consequences of using outweigh any benefit the addict is getting from the addiction.
Once the person admits they want help, they need to seek assistance from professionals who can support them as they try to break free of addiction. They may need to go through a medically-supervised detoxification process to free their body of drugs and/or alcohol. Medications may be given to help deal with the withdrawal symptoms.
After the person has gone through detox, the work of rehabilitation begins. This is the process in which the addict needs to understand why they were drawn to the addictive substance and activity in the first place. He or she will need to learn new patterns of behavior to deal with anxiety, depression, or stress. Instead of turning back to the focus of their addiction to feel better, they need to replace it with other, more positive activities.
It's not uncommon for a person going through addiction recovery to have a relapse. The path to being free from addiction might have bumps along the way, and it may take a long time. This is an important consideration to keep in mind when you are wondering what addiction recovery is like.