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Claiming Ownership of Our Recovery

Finding authority, autonomy, and empowerment in our own recovery journeys. It’s time to stop giving our power away. This is our journey.

Our addictions and mental health issues can be so overpowering and so debilitating that we will often try and minimize our suffering by putting our issues, and our recovery, onto other people. When we have a hard time taking responsibility for our emotions, we tend to blame other people for how we feel. We look to them to dictate how we should be managing our lives and our recovery process. We don’t feel strong or self-assured within ourselves, and our confidence is often lacking, so we find our feelings of wholeness and stability in other people. We end up putting a lot of our pain on other people, not only blaming them for it but making them suffer along with us. We bring other people down and then demand that they make us feel better. We direct our unresolved issues towards them rather than healing them within ourselves. When we fall into these very common behavioral patterns, we often are postponing our recovery, preventing ourselves from being able to access true healing that can only come from honest self-examination.

When we don’t have autonomy over ourselves, and when we don’t claim our inner power, it is often because other people have been enabling us for so long that we’ve become accustomed to it. Our loved ones might have been quick to take on the bulk of our life responsibilities and demands because it was difficult to see us suffer. They may have even taken it upon themselves to complete important steps involved in our recovery work, such as researching treatment centers, support groups, and therapists. After all, they knew we weren’t doing it and likely felt some level of obligation. They might have seen us become complacent or even lazy in our addictive patterns, unwilling to do the work. Perhaps our loved ones have tried to push us out of our comfort zones, only to find that we were resistant to, and afraid of, the challenges of recovery. They might have watched as we became impaired by our mental health conditions and unable to move forward in our lives. While it’s totally understandable that our loved ones would want to help us get out of these painful circumstances, the end result can sometimes be our refusal to claim ownership for our recovery.

For many of us, the turning point comes when we hit rock bottom and find that our pain has become so unbearable that our lives are no longer manageable. We can no longer function. We feel as though we can’t climb out of the dark hole we’ve fallen into. We might experience breakdowns in our mental and emotional health, causing us to feel like we’re losing our minds or that we might die. When we hit rock bottom, sometimes it’s because our loved ones have come to the realization that they can no longer take on the responsibility for our well-being that lies with us and us alone. They finally see that if we are going to get better, it’s only going to be when we are ready to do the work. They might stop helping us as much. They might stop doing things for us altogether. They may even distance themselves from us, particularly if we’ve been hurtful towards them. They realize that no one can force us to want to make changes in our lives. No one can force us to want to get well. We have to do that part on our own.

When we are forced into recovery, by a legal mandate for example, sometimes we might achieve sobriety that’s ultimately unsustainable, because we weren’t mentally and emotionally ready yet. We hadn’t made the personal commitment, or even the fundamental decision, to get better. It was required of us, because we were a risk to ourselves or others, or because it was part of our sentencing agreement. In these cases, sometimes our temporary sobriety is followed by intense periods of relapse. We hadn’t gotten to the place where we were ready to devote our time and energy to our recovery. We were probably still dealing with subconscious programming and voices in our heads that were telling us that we weren’t ready for recovery yet, or that we weren’t strong enough, capable enough, or resilient enough to take responsibility for ourselves.

When we do finally reach that transformative turning point in our lives, whether it’s because we’ve hit rock bottom, had a life-threatening event take place, or experienced some other kind of intense wake-up call, we realize that the responsibility for our well-being and our recovery lies within us. When we start the healing process by reaching out for support, we’re encouraged by the initial steps we take, and they show us that we are in fact strong enough to change our lives. Asking for help is one of the greatest things we can do to reclaim ownership of our recovery. By asking for help, we’re taking our well-being into our own hands and finally doing something about how unwell we’ve become. Once we take one small step, we’re encouraged to take another, and then another. Each small step adds up and eventually, we’re transformed.

Taking responsibility for ourselves can be overwhelming, daunting, and scary, to say the least. We’re confronting issues that have laid dormant within us for many years. We’re finally facing the pain we’ve been suppressing and avoiding out of self-protection. With responsibility and risk, comes an immense reward. It is so freeing to feel as though we’re finally taking our lives into our own hands. We’re no longer putting our issues, or our recovery, on anyone else. It’s truly liberating to finally stand in our own power. We become more self-reliant, stable, and secure within ourselves. We develop faith in ourselves that we can, in fact, get well, and the more we continue onward with our recovery work, the more we prove to ourselves just how strong and powerful we actually are.

Are you ready to take the first step on your journey to recovery? Call The Guest House today! 855-483-7800.