incredible-marketing Arrow
Learning to Have Acceptance for Ourselves and Our Addictions

For many of us who struggle with addiction, we are often challenged to think about things differently in order to heal ourselves, to develop a new mindset around both our illness and our recovery, and to approach our journey with a new perspective. We are often filled with so much fear and resistance around our recovery that ultimately are limiting us and holding us back, and when we’re finally ready to do the work to get better, we learn that we have to develop a mentality of acceptance if want to stop contributing to our own suffering. Whatever we resist tends to get stronger over time. When we feel resistance towards our addictions and other difficult issues, for example, they tend to grow, worsen and fester because we’re turning to our unhealthy coping mechanisms, our avoidance, denial and suppression, instead of confronting them head on. Acceptance helps us to face ourselves. It helps us to make sense of the difficult things in our lives, including our addictive patterns and mental health issues. It helps us to be at peace with ourselves and all of our many challenges. How can we learn to practice acceptance when it comes to our recovery?

The recovery journey as we know is full of ups and downs, challenges that are both foreseeable and totally unexpected. We have to navigate all of the difficult life circumstances we’ve accrued over the years, many of which are due to our addictions, all while coping with our newfound sobriety that can be both liberating and extremely stressful, often simultaneously. We’re so accustomed to using a drug or an addictive behavior to numb our pain and help us forget, to avoid thinking about difficult things, and to completely zone out because our current circumstances feel unbearable. We resist the thoughts and feelings we don’t want to deal with. We resist dealing with life’s complexities. We avoid confronting the conflicts in our relationships. We get high to to remove ourselves from all of the pain and difficulty we don’t want to experience. We deny we have a problem and tell ourselves that we’re not really addicts, that we’re just using to cope with our current issue but that we’ll be fine once the issue is resolved. Our denial and our avoidance are forms of resistance. We’re not accepting the challenges in our lives, nor are we accepting our addictions.

An important first step in learning acceptance is to start seeing ourselves with more compassion and understanding. We want to be able to identify our dependence issues as addictions, and identify ourselves as addicts, without all of the judgment and criticism we’re so accustomed to. We’re used to shaming ourselves, belittling ourselves, and chipping away at our already fragile self-esteem and sense of self-worth. It’s so hard to accept who we are and where we are in our journey when we’re impatient, frustrated and unforgiving with ourselves. Let’s work to release the self-blame, shame and harshness and treat ourselves with more love, forgiveness and gentleness. When we become our own ally and source of support, we’re far more likely to be able to accept ourselves and everything we want to change in our lives.

Similarly, when we have compassion for ourselves as addicts, we are more likely to accept our addictions, as painful as they are. We want to get to a place where we feel we have a solid understanding of our addictions – how they impact our lives, what things might have contributed to the development of them, and what underlying issues and pain are fueling them. Having compassionate understanding for our addictions doesn’t mean we’re making excuses for the mistakes we’ve made and things we’ve done wrong. It means we’re growing in self-love and self-acceptance, both of which are so important if we’re going to make positive changes in our lives. Without acceptance for our addictions, we can’t move forward. We can’t transform our patterns, own up to our mistakes, or make amends to those we’ve hurt. Our resistance keeps us trapped in the same repeating cycles of self-destruction and self-harm, but acceptance helps us to turn things around for ourselves. When we can accept who we are and where we’ve been, we can learn from our past in order to create a healthier future for ourselves. Being able to accept that we are addicts means we can stop running from all the ways in which we’ve been hurting ourselves and the people in our lives. We can examine the patterns that have been causing us pain and start implementing new healthier ones. We can create recovery plans for ourselves and set them in motion. We can incorporate new wellness tools into our routines, creating healthier habits and lifestyles for ourselves that serve us in our recovery rather than causing us harm.

The process of learning to have acceptance for ourselves and our addictions is one of self-reflection and introspection. We learn acceptance the more we work on our inner healing, examining our unhealed pain and addressing it fully, something many of us are doing for the very first time. Working with a therapist, as well as using mindfulness tools such as meditation and journaling, can help us cultivate acceptance along our recovery journey. Many of us gain more self-acceptance by being surrounded by others in recovery. Sharing our stories and hearing other people’s helps us to feel less alone and less isolated. It reminds us that we’re not abnormal or shameful but that we’re dealing with really complex and difficult illnesses. We feel validated, accepted, heard and understood.

When we’re ready to do the tough work of recovery, having self-acceptance is an important part of how we nurture and care for ourselves, how we learn to love ourselves and be good to ourselves as we heal.

At The Guest House Ocala, you will be treated with dignity, respect and compassion. Call 855-483-7800 today for more information on our treatment programs.