Accepting Our Imperfections After Recovery
Giving yourself grace within your recovery and life after recovery is instrumental finding success and happiness in life. Mental illnesses can be just like a physical illness; just because you got over a cold once doesn’t mean it can’t come back. You are going to have many colds over the course of your life, and if you suffer from some sort of mental illness, you are going to have many moments of struggle with it, regardless of going through recovery or not. There are going to be plenty of moments where you will be hit with another wave of depression, anxiety, addictive thoughts, or anything that will scare you. You may find yourself feeling like everything was useless; like all the hard work you put into overcoming your vices is now gone and you’re right back where you were before. It feels like every step you took, every obstacle you overcame, every milestone reached was for nothing. You may feel defeated.
Defeat is an absolutely disheartening and crumbling feeling. It can completely derail your attitude and turn you upside down. But we are here to tell you that these falls and bumps are okay. They are natural. You can’t avoid them because your recovery will be a lifelong journey. Going through events like this will change you permanently, and that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It just means that you have to approach life differently and take these things into consideration. You can put hours upon hours of work into recovery, and yet, you will still have moments of vulnerability after you have gotten through it. You will be faced with the beast you thought was gone, and you will feel afraid of it. That fear is natural; just as natural as coming to face it all again.
Don’t let yourself feel weak or discouraged by it. Let it fuel you. You’ve faced it before, you can face it again. Even more, you are stronger now than you were then. You have gone through the processes and methods, you have learned who you are, you have beat that beast down before, and you can beat it again. Believe in yourself because you have every reason to. You are powerful and strong enough to face this again. Utilize the tools you have been given to help you in this fight and feel confident in those tools; they were created for a reason and they can absolutely help you. If you don’t feel confident enough in those tools, if you’re still recently out of recovery and don’t feel like you have a total grip yet, then it’s okay to lean on someone else. Your support system is there for that very reason; they are all there to help keep you up. From your doctors to your family to your friends, don’t be afraid to lean on them and ask for support. There is no shame in asking for help; there is only strength.
In all of this, don’t let it define you. Don’t live your life afraid of flare-ups or of experiencing these episodes. Your life is not bound by your illness and struggles. You cannot live in fear of triggering it. Of course, you should always be cautious and aware of how your actions and surroundings may affect you, but don’t let it force you into living scared. You can adjust to it and make changes and still maintain who you are and the life you want to live. Instill your tools into your social life; again, have your support system to lean on when necessary. Know that you are safe, no matter where you are. Your fear is valid and understandable, and no one will fault you for feeling afraid of falling back into old habits, but it won’t ever be the same as it was. As we have said before, you are not the same person you were then. You are stronger, more experienced, and wiser in how to deal with your illnesses. You hadn’t ever faced this before when you were at your lowest point, but now you have. You’ve been on the other side of this thing, you’ve seen the other side, you know that it exists and that you can get there again. You will never fall back to before you entered into recovery. You are too strong now for that to happen.
Your life has changed and everything will continue to be different, but that’s nothing to be afraid of. What won’t change is your strength and control that you possess over your illness, and what will never change is that you are not defined by it. Embrace your falls and your shortcomings, embrace your imperfection, and then embrace your ability to keep going. Your ability to get back up. Embrace your refusal to stay down.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction or mental illness, do not hesitate to contact the team here at TrueRecovery.com. 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. Contact us at (866) 399-6528 and [email protected]