Recovery is a lifelong journey that, at times, can be difficult to endure. Some of these challenges might have you spending unnecessary time, effort, and worrying over things that have happened or not yet happened. There is nothing to gain by living in the past. What you have now is sobriety; therefore, learning to embrace gifts of grace will help you find success in recovery. If you are finding that you are being too hard on yourself or worrying over things you cannot control, here are a few ways in which you can overcome negative and self-criticizing thoughts and allow more grace into your life and recovery.
Don’t Live In the Past
It can sometimes become a bad habit in early recovery to want to focus on the past. However, focusing on the past only stands to create negative thoughts and opinions about yourself, such as defining yourself by your past or feeling that you are not capable of handling recovery. Rather than criticize or ridicule yourself for your past, celebrate how far you have already come and where you want to go. You have managed to become sober, and that’s worth celebrating.
Now that you are sober, you have probably seen improvements in your health, relationships, and overall lifestyle. While it can be difficult not to look to the past, recovery is about recognizing who you are now and all the potential you have and the possibilities before you. By allowing yourself some grace, you can reshape the narrative to see yourself as the person you are becoming in your sobriety.
Every Goal Reached Is an Accomplishment
Goals are not defined by how big or small they are. It is important to remember that every goal you set, whether making the bed or getting a promotion, all help shape your recovery by helping you develop good habits and remain motivated. Accomplishing goals also helps build your self-esteem and self-confidence. It’s important to remember in times when you feel like you are not accomplishing enough or moving fast enough to show yourself grace.
Grace allows you the opportunity to appreciate everything that you have been able to accomplish thus far. Keeping a journal to record all your progress is a terrific way to see all the goals you have achieved since becoming sober. Having a source such as a journal to reference can be a powerful tool in helping you relinquish negative thoughts and doubts you might have about your recovery. Remember, you should never gauge success by how fast or slow you are making progress. Sometimes it is good to move at a slower pace.
Give Yourself Space
Providing structure throughout your recovery puts you in a better position to maintain recovery. However, this does not mean booking every minute of every day to be working on something. Having too much to do during the day can soon leave you feeling burned out. It is essential to allow yourself space and time to relax and breathe. You might take time to meditate, read, or sit in a chair with a cup of your favorite tea or coffee. These moments help bring clarity, balance, peace, and, yes, grace to your overall well-being.
Further, giving yourself space also means giving yourself leeway to explore new ventures and opportunities. This way, you won’t feel like the first activity you pursue must be the activity you do for life. Recovery is about reconnecting and discovering new passions and outlets. Sometimes it can take time to determine which activities speak to you and motivate you, and that’s okay.
Nobody’s life is perfect, and mistakes are inevitable. Try not to fret over these mistakes or blame yourself (or another person) when you make a mistake. Not only will setbacks happen, but they are actually an essential teaching tool for recovery. Believe it or not, mistakes offer insight into the why, where, and how you might have missed the mark. Mistakes help you grow in strength and wisdom, both of which are traits that help sustain recovery. Instead of giving up, examine your mistakes to look for opportunities to refine your approach and even set new goals to help you accomplish that next step. No matter what, always remember to keep moving forward. Accept that you made a mistake, give yourself some grace about it, and move on.
Forgive and Accept Forgiveness
Forgiving yourself and others grants you a sense of freedom like no other. When you practice forgiveness, you will release resentment, bitterness, and negative perceptions of yourself and others. Allowing grace to accompany healing from your past will help you realize that you are no longer the same person you were when using substances and therefore do not need to identify with or as this person any longer. Forgiveness allows for growth, peace, and self-acceptance to move forward, regardless of whether others choose to forgive you. When you are confident in how you feel about yourself, you protect yourself from succumbing to other people’s perceptions, opinions, and judgments.
Finding and allowing yourself grace takes being able to celebrate who you are now that you are sober. Recovery is an exciting, fulfilling, and meaningful journey that does not include dwelling on the past. Recovery helps show you all the possibilities you have now that you are sober. At Choice House, we help men experience recovery in a positive and fulfilling way. Our approach goes beyond conventional therapy because we use additional modalities to familiarize and help men develop the emotional range needed to build trust in themselves and others. Located at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, we can also implement breathtaking views and real-world scenarios that will help men sustain recovery long after treatment. Whether you are in active addiction or already sober, we help anybody no matter where they are in their recovery. Remember, you never have to go it alone. Don’t wait to get help–call us today at (720) 577-4422.