When you realize that your drug addiction has completely taken over your life, you feel an overwhelming sense of shock and despair. While these feelings often give you a feeling of hopelessness, it can also provide the motivation you need to break the vicious cycle of substance abuse once and for all. When you make the commitment to recovery, the first and most important step that you must address is to admit you are powerless over drugs. While this crucial step can be very difficult to fully accept, it will allow you to find the strength to pursue lifelong recovery.
The Major Obstacle Of Admitting Powerlessness in Addiction
Admitting weakness in regards to substance abuse is the biggest obstacle that every addict faces in their journey towards sobriety and yet, it is the source of true strength in sobriety. As a species, human beings have the firmly held belief they have complete control over what happens in their lives. For those who are addicted to drugs and alcohol, they may feel they are in control in their daily lives, but in reality, their lives are falling apart. Addicts operate under a heavy state of denial, and they are often the last to recognize the magnitude of their addiction.
Admitting one is powerless over drugs is THE key component to the First Step of all 12-Step groups, and it is an all or nothing step. If an addict can’t come completely clean and admit their addiction has made their life unmanageable, the chances they have of understanding, addressing and moving past the underlying issues that have kept them stuck in substance abuse aren’t favorable.
The True Meaning of Being Vulnerable
When you take your first tentative steps in working a recovery program, there will be no doubt that you will experience considerable difficulty in understanding the concept of vulnerability in relation to your addiction. You may believe that being “weak” in addiction refers to your character or you as a person in general. In reality, the concept of being helpless in addiction refers to the manner in which you were trying to find happiness in your life or to deal with pain and uncertainty.
When you turn to drugs and alcohol as a way to feel pleasure or as a way to cope with stress and pain, the relief you experience is short-lived and illusory. Substance use and abuse are often seen as a symptom of deeper emotional and psychological issues that have been undiagnosed or left unresolved over the course of your lifetime. If you are unable to come face to face with these issues and learn to resolve them through professional help, you will continue to spiral downward in drug and alcohol abuse.
Moving Past Weakness and Finding Strength in Sobriety
If you are ready to get help and are about to enter drug treatment, you may struggle to find the strength to follow through with your treatment plan–especially in the early stages of recovery. While the process of drug treatment seems daunting, there are simple ways that you can gather the strength in sobriety that you need in order to reach your goal of long-term sobriety.
Be Kind to Yourself
When you first enter treatment, you will often feel great shame and guilt over the misdeeds and pain you caused while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Your first reaction is to beat yourself up and think of yourself as a bad person unworthy of forgiveness. It is important to remember these feelings are completely normal in early recovery, and everyone will experience these emotions. You must remind yourself that what you had done in the past is in the past and that you are making a sincere effort to change for the better.
Celebrate All Of Your Accomplishments–No Matter How Small
Getting clean is a process that takes both time and effort. You must take your recovery one day at a time and one step at a time if you are to achieve a meaningful recovery. A great way to stay motivated and positive during this process is to take the time each day to celebrate all the good things that you have accomplished–no matter how small or trivial they may seem on the surface. When you recognize each achievement, you are building your morale as your progress in treatment.
No matter how strong your resolve, there will be times in your recovery where you will fall short. No one is perfect, and there will be times where you will make mistakes. As already stated, recovery is a process and everyone moves at their own pace. If you slip up during treatment, be patient with yourself and look at it as an opportunity to learn and grow.
Adopt a Positive Outlook on Life
Your first priority each day should be to adopt a positive outlook on life. Whether you believe it or not, you have the power to decide what you think about and how you feel. Instead of dwelling on what went wrong during your day and where you fell short, you can make the conscious choice of accepting whatever happens during your day as part of the process. Taking moments and situations in stride and “as is” will help you move forward.
Don’t Compare Yourself To Others
As with other people who are in recovery, your struggles with substance abuse are unique. While your situation may be similar to others, trying to compare your recovery to others is misleading and can lead to frustration down the road. Everyone heals at their own pace, and each person will find a program of recovery that is best suited to their personality and learning style. Focus on your needs and don’t excessively focus on what others are doing in their recovery.
If You Need Help, Just Ask
There will be times where you may feel that you are standing on shaky ground in your recovery. During those times where you feel unsure, be sure to reach out and ask for help. Throughout your recovery journey, you can rely on family and friends, recovering peers, counselors and others to provide you with support and encouragement.
Are You Struggling With Drug and Alcohol Addiction?
Drug and alcohol addiction has devastating impacts on the addict as well as their family, friends and other loved ones. If you have been unable to break free from the tight grip of substance abuse and need help, call the addiction professionals at Dream Center for Recovery today. Our experienced staff utilizes both traditional and holistic treatment approaches that are effective, proven to work, and are easily tailored to fit your needs. Make recovery a reality and call Dream Center for Recovery right now.