There is a lot of talk about self-empowerment in the recovery process. Talking with a doctor or therapist in your program isn’t like going to a doctor for an operation. A surgeon opens you up, fixes whatever problem is there, and then you heal. A doctor may give you medication to take care of a cold that is bothering you. But when it comes to mental illness and recovery, a doctor can’t fix it all with physical action. Sure, they can prescribe you a certain medication to help but a lot of what they are doing with you is helping guide you on how to do the work on yourself. You are going to be the one to really dig in and fix yourself, and with that, you will need to be able to find the empowerment in yourself to accomplish that work. You will have to find the things that motivate you to tackle the challenges and get through them. And even beyond the process of recovery, you will feel empowered by what you have done. By getting through the greatest period of your life and growing in so many ways, you will feel empowered by it and you rightfully should feel empowered.
We never want you to feel like you can’t be proud of who you are or what you have done. You are inspiring, awesome, and strong, and those are things that need to be celebrated. But we do want to encourage you to find the balance between that healthy feeling and the extreme reaction where your empowerment can be damaging to you and those around you. We have seen it happen to many people: in their effort to get better and further their self-empowerment, they begin to form this idea that their actions are warranted or that they can be excused for what they do. We have touched on this topic before and spoken about how even in the throes of mental illness, we need to hold ourselves responsible for our actions. The same concept applies to this when we feel like we need to behave a certain way for the sake of empowerment. A lot of people think that empowerment can come from putting other people down; that by insulting or criticizing others, we are then giving ourselves the power over them. These people look out for people who go against what they believe and find ways to make themselves feel better by minimizing them. We see the logic in that thought process but we do not agree with it.
Finding the Point Where Empowerment Becomes Excuses
We cannot allow our desire to feel strong and powerful affect the way we treat others. Reaching a place of loving yourself just isn’t worth damaging or putting down others. We understand how much we all want to feel in control and how beautiful the feeling of self-love is, but we don’t want to see anyone use that as an excuse to be toxic in their relationships. We may feel like this faux-empowerment is helping us fix our conditions and get through our mental struggles, but it isn’t helping you either. You are developing a flawed perspective on life and the people around you, you are practicing negative behaviors that are doing more harm than good for you. You are putting yourself above everyone else, instead of seeing the level field we are all on, and are self-destructing rather than getting better. We don’t want that for anyone and encourage everyone to keep themselves in mind. Find the ways to practice empowerment and self-love without putting down others. Maintain a sense of pride in your life without taking on someone else’s to do so. We are all living and figuring it out as we go, and there doesn’t need to be any more negativity in the world.
The journey to self-empowerment is a tough one and, unfortunately, the process doesn’t completely end when you have found it. From there, you have to find the balance to where your practices are healthy for both you and the people around you. We are responsible for our actions, even when dealing with mental illness. To believe otherwise is doing a disservice to who you are as a person and the people you love. We encourage you to be the good in the world that you want to see. We have the power and capability to choose the people we are going to be; mental illness doesn’t have to change that. Love others and spread as much positivity as you can. Not only will that help you in your own struggles but it will do wonders to help other people as well. We can find empowerment in lifting people up, not tearing them down. We can build bridges instead of barriers, and the world will always be better for it.
If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with anxiety or mental illness, do not hesitate to contact the team here at True Recovery. Our program, founded in 2014, is built around finding what’s best for you to overcome your addiction. Our facility is located in Newport Beach, California, with our supportive housing located close to our campus in Costa Mesa. Take advantage of the local beaches, nature preserves, and Orange County community while we fight for you. Call us today at (866) 399-6528.