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Pessimism in Our Recovery

We might think of pessimism as a harmless attribute. We all know crotchety people who complain, catastrophize and expect the worst, who predict people’s downfall, who don’t feel hopeful about the future, and who are generally negative. We might not think of pessimism as being all that serious, and we don’t usually associate it with mental illness, but the more pessimistic we are, the more we can exacerbate our depression, anxiety and other mental health issues. We might also be more inclined to drown out our negativity with our drugs of choice when we’re always being pessimistic.  When it comes to our recovery, not having full faith in ourselves and our ability to heal, not being able to hold onto hope, can hinder our chances of getting well. We can impede our own progress, even with the simple thought patterns we don’t give much thought to.

We want to be more mindful of the thought patterns we’re choosing and practicing repeatedly. We want to learn how to redirect our pessimistic thoughts to more optimistic, hopeful, confident ones. We want to be as positive about our recovery as we can. Optimism can feel awkward and uncomfortable for us, especially when we’ve been using our negativity and pessimism as defense mechanisms when we’re stressed out or struggling. All thought patterns take time and patience to change. Let’s not get frustrated with ourselves if we’re not able to rid ourselves of our pessimistic attitudes right away, and let’s not be impatient with ourselves if the process is taking longer than we hoped. Sometimes when we’ve been negative for so long, we’re determined to make changes, and we want instant gratification and immediate relief from our painful thoughts. We feel a sense of urgency to make a drastic overhaul of our mental patterns. Let’s be patient and understanding with ourselves. Patterns that are deeply ingrained take time to undo.

When you notice yourself having a pessimistic thought, think of how you can reframe it to be more positive. We can transform “I still haven’t recovered yet, I probably never will” to “I am healing every day. My recovery is taking place in small ways, with small changes, every single day. I’m proud of myself for how far I’ve come.” We can redirect our thoughts of dread and negative anticipation, “I’m dreading my next therapy session” or “My partner is going to be so disappointed in me” to “I’m making progress, even when it doesn’t feel like it. I am growing stronger. I am excited to see how much progress I make.”

At The Guest House Ocala, we have personal recovery experience and over 12 years in the recovery industry. We have helped countless people recover, and we’re here to help you too. Call 855-483-7800 today for more information.