Recovery from a substance abuse problem is a long journey. You are forced to rebuild your life without drugs or alcohol.
You may need to find a job, become financially stable, and mend your damaged relationships. While these are all important and can be challenging, you will also have to face yourself in recovery, and this is often easier said than done.
How to Forgive Yourself in Recovery
Forgiveness and recovery from addiction often go hand in hand. Chances are that your addiction may have caused some rifts in your personal relationships from broken promises, lies, and misplaced priorities. While recovery is about trying to fix these relationships and asking your loved ones to forgive you, forgiveness in recovery doesn’t stop there. Although you may have gotten substance abuse treatment and are now sober, it is hard to forget about your past. Many recovering addicts still struggle, but these practices make forgiving yourself in recovery a little easier.
Accept the Past
Part of the reason that you may still be struggling to forgive yourself in sobriety is because you are clinging to the past. While you may have done some things you are not proud of before your partial hospitalization program, you can’t erase them now that you are sober. You need to take the time to examine your past and take responsibility for your wrongdoings. Accepting that you cannot change your past and that you can only control what you do next can help you finally forgive yourself and move on.
Make Amends & Right Wrongs
After you are able to recognize and accept your wrongdoings, you need to try to fix them or make amends. It can be intimidating to face someone that you did wrong, but it can also be therapeutic. Keep in mind that trying to make amends with some people may cause them more harm, so you need to also be able to recognize these circumstances and give them space. When you see that others are able to start forgiving you or you are able to fix your past mistakes, it can make it easier to forgive yourself in recovery.
Focus on Progress
Many recovering addicts get stuck in negative thought patterns, but part of the recovery process is breaking free of this harmful cycle. If you went through cognitive behavioral therapy for substance abuse in rehab, you learned how to break down these thoughts and change them for a more positive perspective. While you may have done some bad things in your past, your recovery is the time to start focusing on your progress. You have come a long way since first getting help. Whether is it going a month without using or finding your own place, it is time to recognize these accomplishments. Focusing on the positive and your progress can help you move beyond your troubled past and forgive yourself.
Practice Positive Affirmations
Forgiving yourself in recovery is impossible if you don’t learn how to love yourself. Instead of dwelling on any negativity, make practicing positive affirmations a part of your daily routine. Look in a mirror and give yourself positive affirmations every day. Write down some positive affirmations and hang them somewhere you will see them regularly. Taking the time to give yourself praise and love can help you eventually forgive yourself for your addiction.
Although some people may wake up one day and forgive themselves, this may not be your journey. Do not compare yourself to others. Forgiveness is a process that takes time. Try to take each day on its own and focus on the steps you are making toward forgiveness. With time you will start to feel better.
At Banyan Treatment Centers Chicago, we help people like you overcome their addiction and prepare for life outside of rehab. If you or someone you loved is ready to start taking steps toward a happier and healthier life, reach out to us today. Call 888-280-4763 could be the first step to the rest of your life.
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Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.