For someone facing addiction, engaging in recovery can be a daunting task. Choosing to begin recovery requires the belief that change is possible. It requires a hope that you can make healthier choices in the future, despite the past.
At its core, recovery requires a change of perspective. Unfortunately, for those with a history of interpersonal trauma, and addiction, it can be easier to see the world in a negative light.
Making the same choices and viewing the world through the same lens is more comfortable than making a change. Thought patterns become habits, and since habits are hardwired into our brains, they can be difficult to change.
Our minds and bodies are always learning. When certain behaviours, even destructive or unhealthy ones, have rewarded us in some way, our mind will autopilot back to that choice or worldview. Unless we make a conscious choice to try something new.
Changing your perspective isn’t easy, but it could change your life.
One of the most important perspective shifts you can make is choosing to believe that change is possible. Without the hope for a better future, how will you keep making hard choices day after day?
One way to fuel this perspective shift is by looking for proof. As you make small changes in your life, take note of these changes as proof that you can heal and grow. Write them down and return to them over and over again when you’re struggling to feel hope.
As painful as it can be to admit we’ve made mistakes, it makes sense we so often avoid taking responsibility for our actions. While circumstances certainly do play a role in the choices we make, we’re not powerless over the decisions we make.
When we take responsibility for our actions, we actually take some power back. We’re choosing to believe that, yes, we’ve made mistakes, but we believe we can do better.
When you’re looking at a change as life-altering as recovering from addiction, it is easy to become consumed by the enormity of it all. It’s easy to view progress as a zero-sum game, struggling to recognize that every step towards healing and recovery is progress.
By changing your perspective and choosing to celebrate the small changes you’ve made to become a healthier, more whole person, you bring more positivity to the journey. This positivity doesn’t deny the challenge of sobriety and recovery. It acknowledges that you are growing and changing, even when you experience setbacks or progress is slower than you anticipated.
It isn’t unusual to begin recovery for the people you love. You’ve grown tired of hurting or disappointing the people around you. Or you’ve seen firsthand the relationships you value fall apart as a result of your substance use. However, choosing recovery for yourself rather than for other people is best.
Motivation for recovery often has to come from within. If you can change your perspective and see yourself as worthy of living a healthy life free of addiction, you can turn to that self-worth when you’re lonely, when life circumstances are hard, or when you’re struggling with sobriety.
For many people healing from an addiction, it feels as if there are more days that are bad than there are good. This isn’t unusual, but negativity can influence our choices, keeping us from believing and hoping for a better future.
Even on hard days, there are good things to recognize and feel grateful for. Something as simple as a kind conversation, a warm meal, or the unconditional love of a pet can become the hope we hang our hats on when things are challenging.
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Georgia Strait Women’s Clinic is a top-rated drug rehab and alcohol treatment program for women in British Columbia. We offer treatment for substance use, mental health, PTSD, and trauma. If you’re struggling with mental health and/or addiction, visit our website or call us today to learn more about our programs and how we can support you.