Culturally we perceive addiction and people with addiction in a very negative light. When we’re trying to come to terms with addiction and mental illness in our own lives, therefore, we can find ourselves feeling ashamed, disappointed and embarrassed. We feel tremendous guilt for our mistakes and regrets, and rather than forgiving ourselves so that we can move forward and do better in our lives, we hold ourselves hostage and inundate ourselves with self-disparagement, criticism, and judgment. We do a number on our self-esteem and keep ourselves small. Our energy around addiction and mental health issues are one of self-rejection and judgment. We take the cultural perception of addiction and internalize it as being the truth of who we are. We believe the stereotypes telling us we’re bad people. We give in to the stigma that makes us reject ourselves. We deprive ourselves of compassion, understanding, and acceptance. To heal ourselves, we’ll have to change our energy and our perspective when it comes to addiction and mental illness.
We need to heal on an emotional level which means changing the way that we think.
Therapeutic techniques, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), can help us unravel thoughts and feelings that influence our behaviors. Common thought processes which we can begin to challenge during our recovery include:
- “Black and white”/all or nothing thinking
- Disqualifying positive experiences as unimportant
- Jumping to conclusions: “Mind Reading”/”Fortune Telling”
- Magnification (Catastrophizing) and minimization
By addressing these thought processes, we can change the way we relate to the world and shift our perspective. This can also do wonders to combat the shame and guilt we have experienced as a result of trauma, the cultural stigma of addiction, or our own actions.
Small changes can make a big difference.
One of the best ways we can shift our energy is to start seeing our recovery process as being made up of small, incremental steps and changes we’re implementing on a daily basis. When we look at our addictions and mental health issues as a whole, we can be entirely overwhelmed by the sheer weight of them. They’ve taken over our lives, destroyed our careers, broken up our relationships, worsened our self-esteem and sense of self. It’s taken us years to get to this point, and healing is not going to happen overnight. When we start to take things one day at a time, one phone call to our sponsor at a time, one meeting at a time, we’re more focused on our gradual progress than the overwhelming difficulty we’re faced with.
Set intentions for your progress, and make goals, but do your best not to beat yourself up if you falter. All of our mistakes are part of our evolution. When we develop our self-acceptance, we shift our energy around our illnesses, making us better equipped to cope with the rigors of recovery.
Origins Behavioral Healthcare is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance abuse, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety.
For information on our programs,
call us today: 561-841-1296