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Thought Patterns of Addiction We Cling to in Recovery

A significant amount of our work in recovery is learning to shed the harmful thought patterns we’ve been practicing and perpetuating over time throughout our struggles with addiction, the ways of thinking, the fears and the limiting beliefs that have prevented us from healing and creating the lives we want for ourselves. Sometimes, though, we’re still clinging to these thought patterns even after we’ve gotten sober, and they can contribute to our relapse and to our deep unhappiness. Certain thought patterns have become such an ingrained part of our consciousness that we have a very hard time letting go of them. We come to believe them as truth, and we function accordingly as if they were true. They color everything we do, think and feel. They contribute to our unwellness and inform how we operate in our lives. The recovery process is inviting us to take a deeper look at the ways in which we think, and to the things we believe, because we can’t get well when we’re still holding onto destructive, damaging thought patterns and toxic beliefs.

Some of the major thought patterns we have the most difficulty shedding are based on our fears of inadequacy. We’re so afraid that we’re unworthy and undeserving of love and happiness that we self-sabotage at every turn, sabotaging our progress in recovery, returning to our addictive patterns even when we consciously are committed to getting better, and finding new ways to self-destruct to add to our old toxic habits. We experiment with new drugs and replace our drug of choice with something new, convincing ourselves we’ll be able to quit again if we’ve already managed to once before, or multiple times before. We replace our addictive substances with addictive behaviors, unhealthy relationships and toxic patterns of codependence. We find new ways of distracting ourselves from the pain we have a hard time confronting. We look for new ways of escaping the truth we don’t want to face. All of this can come from the fact that deep down we still don’t believe we’re good enough. We perpetuate thought patterns of doubting ourselves and our self-worth, constantly questioning ourselves, measuring our shortcomings against other people’s successes, and assuming we’ll fail. We feel inferior to other people, easily threatened and competitive. We fall into the trap of focusing externally rather than internally, watching other people’s journeys more than we invest in our own. We become convinced we won’t be able to succeed in our recovery because deep down we still have wounds from the past convincing us we’re not good enough and informing how we operate in our current lives. We have deeply rooted insecurities that make us hate and reject ourselves. Our thought patterns around our fears of inadequacy are some of the hardest to come to terms with and to transform because deep down we’ve become convinced we’re not worthy of happiness or of healing.

Other thought patterns we still cling to in recovery revolve around our feelings of powerlessness. We become convinced that we have no control over our addictions and mental health issues, that they are these invisible but formidable powers we have no recourse against in our lives. We believe that once we’re addicts we’ll never be free from the clutches of addiction, and once we’re depressed we’ll never be able to be free from mental illness. While it’s true we may always be living with these illnesses, it’s not true that we can’t thrive and find success in recovery. We’re not actually powerless over them. We have the power to redirect our thought patterns, to instill new beliefs in our minds and hearts, and to heal ourselves on a subconscious level so that we can align our choices and behaviors with the energy of healing rather than with the patterns of self-destructiveness and self-sabotage we’ve been giving into all these years. We have the power to redefine our lives, to create our happiness, to find our calling, and to fulfill our life’s purpose. When we believe we’re powerless against our addictions, we literally are giving away our power. Our recovery journey is asking us to reclaim that power, to believe in ourselves, and to give ourselves as much of our own faith and hope as we possibly can.

Fortunately even the most ingrained thought patterns contributing to our addictions and mental health issues can be changed. We can learn to redirect our thoughts with mindfulness and with practice. We can begin to think more positively when before we were consumed with negative thinking. We can become more optimistic when we were once pessimistic and doubtful. We can develop beliefs of self-assuredness and confidence to dispel our limiting beliefs of self-rejection and fears of inadequacy. The key to changing our thinking is to put more emphasis, focus, and energy into the new thought patterns, rather than the old, to help ourselves replace the old with the new and to reprogram our subconscious minds with the beliefs we want to take root in our consciousness. When we’re giving our energy to fighting our old thought patterns, we’re feeding them with our resistance and making them stronger, giving them even more power over us. We want to instill our new thought patterns with practice and repetition and give them the power of our energy and our belief. Transforming our thought patterns is a crucial part of our recovery. Once our thinking is fully in alignment with the healing we want for ourselves, we can then begin to truly make it a reality for ourselves.

At The Guest House Ocala, our recovery programs include many experiential modalities including traditional therapy, conscious connected breathwork, equine therapy, somatic experiencing, art in healing, grief therapy, mindfulness and other forms of therapy. Call 855-483-7800 today for more information.