Addressing Acceptance in All of Its Forms
Acceptance is a huge part of any recovery process. Whether a person is journeying through their recovery from an addiction to drugs or alcohol, moving through trauma, or even trying to reconcile personal relationships while healing, acceptance is a major part of every step. However, acceptance is also a complicated thing and can take a number of different forms. Embracing acceptance may not all come at the same time, and there are certain areas where a person may be able to embrace acceptance while still struggling in other areas of their recovery. Addiction and recovery address many different aspects of a person’s life, and acceptance has a role to play in each dimension of recovery. Accepting oneself, accepting others, and even accepting the idea of change as a whole in one’s journey through recovery and transformation is needed to move to a healthier, happier lifestyle.
Accepting the Need for Change
Accepting the need for change is one of the first major steps in moving towards a new, sober lifestyle. While the change that each person undergoes may look different, embracing the overall need for change is crucial in being able to set goals and open oneself to new ways of thinking, new activities, and even new people. Accepting the need for change involves understanding that there is, first and foremost, a problem that needs to be addressed. This can be one’s use of drugs, how often one drinks, or admitting that one’s coping strategies for trauma are proving insufficient. While difficult, this is necessary if a person wants to move beyond stress, depression, and anxiety with the hope of a happier future. This is an incredibly profound change that doesn’t necessarily come quickly but is nonetheless an important part of the recovery process.
Accepting the need for change also involves addressing one’s own emotional state, potentially destructive habits, environmental factors, and relationships. This may involve coming to terms with the fact that one’s social group may be proving to be a negative influence on their emotional wellbeing or may not be conducive to maintaining sobriety. It can also lead to an understanding that addiction is a disease that is affecting your mental state in the first place.
Accepting yourself is often the overall goal of recovery as a whole, and involves a very personal journey. Accepting yourself means coming to terms with one’s own identity. Drugs, alcohol, trauma, and mental illness can all lead to feelings of entrapment, or a person may feel that they cannot live their best lives as a result of their stressors. It can also mean that a person may be reluctant to pursue a hobby they may otherwise enjoy, due to social stigma. Accepting oneself can also be an embracement of one’s physical appearance and finally allowing oneself to dress in a way that makes them comfortable.
Accepting yourself also means coming to terms with your past. This can be an acknowledgment that there was a problem with one’s substance use and how that use has affected your personal or professional life. Only by confronting how each person was before they began their recovery can an individual contextualize and take pride in their new, developing, sober identity. This is an incredible goal to set for oneself and is at the height of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in terms of self-actualization. It is finding comfort in one’s own skin and the feeling of being free to express one’s identity to the world while feeling comfortable in their voice. It is forgiveness to oneself while also an empowerment to one’s future.
Acceptance of Others
The acceptance of others is how a person begins to combat prevalent feelings of isolation through recovery. It is accepting that there are other people around that are also affected by a person’s decisions, as well a realization that one’s own opinion is worth just as much as another’s. This approach can be empowering to the individual while also helping a person open themselves up to new communities and ways of thinking. Being accepting of others also involves how a person sees and perceives the actions of their friends, family, and loved ones. It can lead to a further understanding of others and their various approaches to support. Furthermore, it can help develop a trusting, unified front focused on recovery in a healthy atmosphere.
Acceptance is a complicated thing, and it is very possible that a person can learn to accept others in their lives long before that person learns to accept themselves. However, understanding the dimensions of acceptance can help each individual continue to monitor their growth, recognize their success and developments, as well as identify areas where they may want to focus next. Nothing about acceptance in any definition is easy, but it is a humongous sign of growth, and finding acceptance in even one dimension of recovery is proof of healing, progress, and that each person has the capability to change.
Acceptance is one of the most difficult parts of recovery, and a person may not find acceptance all at once in their journey to sobriety. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction or are suffering from co-occurring mental health disorders, Brighton Recovery Center can help you take the first step towards acceptance today. Our beautiful campus has open space for you to use and houses a number of different facilities for recovery. With programs from detox and sober living to partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs, we pride ourselves on personalizing your recovery plan with an approach that fits your needs and goals in recovery, while helping you build on your strengths and address your vulnerabilities. Our supportive community of professionals and peers can create a healthy, sober atmosphere for you to begin exploring acceptance in your own life. For more information on how we can personalize a program for you, or to speak to a caring, trained professional about your unique circumstance, call us today at (844) 479-7035.