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Our addictions are so debilitating that as we’re working to recover, we can find that our joy and sense of fulfillment have become totally depleted from our past experiences. We can find ourselves losing our hopefulness, our optimism and our positivity. We’ve been filled with so much shame and disappointment for so long that we don’t feel good about our recovery. We don’t feel good about ourselves. We’re still filled with self-hatred and self-rejection that can make our recovery even more difficult because we’re not actively believing in ourselves. We’ve lost our faith. Our self-perception is still based on shame and regret. We don’t look forward to the future with positive anticipation but instead with dread and fear. We fear we’ll always relapse and never get ourselves on track. We fear we won’t be able to maintain our sobriety. How do we reclaim our sense of self as we’re recovering? How do we get to a place where we can feel good about ourselves, uplift ourselves and give ourselves the motivation we need to keep going?

Our thoughts and feelings are greatly influenced by the programming of the subconscious mind, where we’ve stored all of our emotional information. Our fears, our wounds, and our painful memories are all stored there, contributing to our emotional development. Until we heal ourselves on a deep level and work to change our subconscious programming, we might always be driven by our hurts rather than by hope. We will live in the past, consumed with regret, rather than looking to the future and seeing all of its possibilities. We will deprive ourselves of the inspiration and encouragement we need to move forward, to move away from a place where we’re keeping ourselves stuck. We will stay paralyzed in our emotional pain rather than doing the work necessary to heal.

All of these difficult feelings are rooted in the programming of our subconscious. We can change how we think and feel, and therefore how we operate, by reprogramming our subconscious minds. The subconscious responds to visualization, meditation, repetition of affirmations, and the written word. We can use these tools to help us motivate ourselves in our recovery, and to prevent ourselves from continuing to be incapacitated and paralyzed by our addictions. Let’s try visualizing ourselves full of enthusiasm and excitement. Let’s imagine ourselves feeling hopeful, positive and optimistic. Let’s practice looking ahead to the future and imagining all of the possibilities, everything that can go wonderfully right rather than everything that might go wrong. Let’s meditate on feelings of fulfillment and peace. Let’s imagine what it would feel like to be healed and at peace within ourselves, not battling the constant turmoil of addiction. We can repeat affirmations such as “I am motivated. I am hopeful. I am excited. I am optimistic. I am totally healed. I encourage and uplift myself. I believe in myself. I have faith in my recovery.” We can write down all of these affirmations, visualizations and meditations as a journaling practice to use in our recovery. The more energy and time we put into our practice, the more we commit wholeheartedly to our progress, the more our emotions, and therefore our recovery, will benefit.

Riverside Recovery believes in the importance of holistic healing and education, mindfulness and mind-body-spirit wellness. Call (800) 871-5440 for more information on our treatment programs.