This article was written by Lisa Sitwell and published by Home of Grace
Addiction is one of the most difficult things one may go through or heal through. Where other problems or health issues can be helped with medications or financial expenditures, addiction therapy has to take place primarily in your mind! The following mindsets will help you work through addiction recovery in a positive and effective way.
Getting perspective on the impact of addiction and the actions that it prompts can help you start working through addiction. Look at the big picture! What is your motivation for changing your life? What do you want your life to look like? Ask yourself what your reason why is! You need a strong enough “why” to overcome the pull of the addiction, something that is even more motivating than the temptation of whatever you’re addicted to. For example, if you hold (or would like to hold) a professional career, you need to be responsible enough to do it. Using drugs and alcohol can put a professional license in jeopardy. You can use this fact as a motivator each time you find yourself tempted to go back to your addiction—what do you want more, a brief reward now or a proud reward later?
Addicts often think they can control their addiction, but that is not usually the case. In fact, one of the characteristics of addiction is a lack of control over one’s own self-restraint! Control over your mind and your body feels like strength. It feels like the discipline that gets you to achieve hard things—to be the result of your own decisions and no one else’s. When one feels their control slipping, it often spirals into feelings of hopelessness, depression and anger. Focus on the concept of control to get you through the pains and frustrations of withdrawal. You are in charge of your mind, not the addiction! Control your mind, control your body, and take better control of your life.
Rather than let hopelessness paint a vision of darkness and worthlessness in the future, think about what your growth will do for you! Emphasize your successes! Where have you improved? What are you proud of? Every little accomplishment should nourish your determination to overcome your addiction, and God is on your side all throughout your journey. Use His example and power to strengthen you in your path to sobriety. As it says in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” If God has been able to get through hard things, so can you! “Growth” as a mindset allows you to appreciate your own hard work and the benefits you’ve seen in it, and also forces you to divide your goal into manageable steps, which you can use as milestones to measure progress. This is a healthy and happy way to look at your recovery process.
As you work through your healing from addiction, you will feel resistance and frustration. Keep your mind centered on perspective, control, and/or progress to give you the motivation and strength to endure to your finish line and beyond it.