One gift we receive is that of our renewed relationships. Our sobriety helps us to have the courage, clarity and humility we need to make amends to the people we’ve hurt. Before we get sober, we tend to still be entangled in patterns of volatility, reactivity and confusion. We tend to be stressed and overwhelmed. Our thinking isn’t clear, and our judgment is impaired. We’re not able to take the steps needed to talk honestly with our loved ones, to relate to them and empathize with them. We’re not yet able to understand the different ways in which we’ve hurt them. We’re often still defensive and afraid of weakness. We’re afraid of admitting where we’ve made mistakes. We’re afraid of the vulnerability that comes with admitting when we’re wrong. Sobriety helps us to move through these challenges with more courage and inner strength. We stop fearing the truth, so we’re able to confide in our loved ones and finally address the relationship issues, along with the wounds within ourselves that contributed to those issues. We’re able to be humble in the face of our wrongdoings and really rebuild the bridges we’ve burned. We’re able to connect with people in a much more honest, open and transparent way. We no longer have these huge secrets to hide. We no longer have to try and conceal entire parts of ourselves. We don’t have to hide our identity as addicts. We can be true to ourselves, and we can have faith we’re able to make the necessary changes in our lives in order to have healthy relationships. Once we know we’re strong enough to recover, we start to have more faith that we’re strong enough to heal any of the pain we might have caused ourselves and other people.
Sobriety gives us newfound confidence in ourselves and our abilities. Once we get sober, one of the hardest things we’ll ever do in our lives, we know there isn’t anything we can’t do. We begin to repair our self-esteem and rebuild our sense of self-worth. We start to love ourselves more. We feel proud of ourselves for the huge accomplishment of getting sober, and the longer we stay sober, the more redeemed we feel. We stop dwelling on our pasts, all of our mistakes and regrets because now we see we’re capable of so much more. We believe in our potential, some of us for the very first time. Our addictions caused us to not only feel bad about ourselves but to give up on our dreams and believe we weren’t destined for anything other than suffering and struggle. Once we get sober, we see that our being capable of recovering means there isn’t anything we can’t accomplish. We begin to have hope for our future again, one of the biggest gifts we could receive in our lives. We start to see ourselves not just for our addictions and the difficulties they brought with them, but for all the beautiful, wonderful aspects of ourselves we might have been neglecting due to our illness. We see the gifts we may have been sacrificing. We see the talents and strengths we may have buried underneath layers of negativity and toxicity. We see our unique, powerful selves beginning to reemerge. We learn the importance of loving and accepting ourselves as we are, and not letting our addictions define us any longer.
Another gift we receive in recovery is the ability to recognize where we need to work on ourselves, develop ourselves and improve upon ourselves. Our addictions cause us so much confusion and lack of clarity and insight that we don’t know how to make the necessary changes in our lives. As we undergo the self-exploration and self-discovery of recovery, we see what things about ourselves we need to change in order to be happy and get well, and we have the strength to implement them. We’re able to see what thought patterns, emotional responses, choices and behaviors we need to shed for our greatest good. We see where we’ve gone wrong with our mental and emotional health, what things were contributing to our addictive patterns, and what things were fueling our deep unhappiness to make us resort to addictions in the first place. We begin to have the energy and motivation to make the changes we need to make. We start to prioritize taking care of our health. We make more time for self-care, spiritual practice and personal development. We give our energy to our healing rather than our patterns of self-destructiveness. We reconnect with ourselves invaluable, self-affirming, empowering ways.
Recognizing all the gifts we receive in recovery can help us to stay hopeful, optimistic and resilient whenever we’re feeling challenged or weakened by life’s difficulties, whenever we’re feeling ourselves drawn back to the temptation of our addictions. We can remember just how far we’ve come, all the things we’ve gained, and how valuable it is for us to stay the course of our sobriety. We remember not to take any of these gifts for granted because they are the foundation for the beautiful new life we’re creating for ourselves.
Riverside Recovery is committed to helping you get back the life you love. Our treatment programs include multiple forms of therapy, family workshops and mindfulness-based relapse prevention education. Call (800) 871-5440 for more information.