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When we are actively working towards recovery, there are some habits we hold onto that can slow down our progress and impede our ability to get well. We have a hard time relinquishing control over how we think things should go. We hold on tightly to certain expectations. We worry excessively, we obsess about things, and we allow our fear, doubt, and uncertainty to paralyze us. One thing many of us learn is that in order to be successful in our recovery, sometimes we have to surrender to the healing process. This doesn’t mean we stop trying, or that we give up. It means we stop resisting our intuition and listening to our inner guidance. We stop trying to control outcomes or place unrealistic expectations on ourselves. We allow ourselves to go one day at a time, trying to be our best selves each step of the way but not inundating ourselves with worry, critique, and judgment as we go.

When we surrender to our healing journey, we allow things to be as they are. That means if we’re suffering, we allow ourselves to acknowledge our pain without resisting it, trying to rush it away or block it out, especially with drugs and addictive behaviors. It means we embrace our challenges for everything they have to teach us rather than trying to avoid the pain of our lessons and spiritual tests. We want to let go of our need to control things or know exactly how things are going to play out, or make predictions based on our expectations. When we do these things, we tend to inundate ourselves with anxiety and worry. Our stress levels get dangerously high. Our depressions return. Our overall health suffers, with our mental and emotional instability contributing to all kinds of health problems. We feel increasingly worse about ourselves. We feel a deep sense of shame and disappointment when we don’t feel we’ve lived up to our own expectations, especially when we’ve relapsed. We berate ourselves with judgment when we haven’t recovered quickly enough. We feel needy and desperate for a way to escape all our difficult thoughts and feelings, particularly our own pressure and fear, which we usually seek to escape using our drugs of choice. 

Surrendering means easing up on ourselves and being gentler, kinder, more understanding and more supportive with ourselves. It doesn’t mean becoming complacent or giving up. It doesn’t mean making things easier for ourselves or enabling ourselves. It means having more acceptance as we do the healing work. It means accepting where we are and envisioning where we want to go, minus the self-deprecating self-talk and internal shaming we often give into. It means having acceptance for the mistakes we’ve made and the things we regret. It means working to make amends and create change, without beating ourselves up so harshly that we can’t forgive ourselves or give ourselves love and compassion.

 We have a hard time relinquishing control of how we think things ought to be. We think that if we don’t worry or have strict expectations, we’re not doing enough, or working hard enough, or investing enough energy. The truth is, though, that kind of energy often doesn’t help us in our recovery. It actually can hold us back. We’re bringing all of our fearful energy into our healing process, which makes us more likely to manifest the difficult outcomes that we don’t want. Surrendering means having faith – faith in ourselves, faith in getting better, and the faith we’re being guided by a higher power and by the strength of our inner selves. Surrendering is being able to go one day at a time rather than obsessing about the future. It’s being able to go with the flow of our lives, working hard to make important changes but infusing our hard work with the energy of faith rather than fear.

The more we give up our need for control, which comes from fearfulness, the more we open ourselves to receive guidance, both from other people who are part of our journey to help us and from our inner selves. If we muddle our senses with worry and stress, we have a much harder time deciphering the messages of our intuition. When we have faith and surrender to our healing process, we open ourselves to receive powerful insights, breakthroughs, and revelations. We develop more clarity and honesty. We become stronger and more resilient. We feel more courageous and believe in ourselves more. Surrendering means we’re working with ourselves and our own energy rather than against ourselves. It means we’re in alignment with our true selves and with our intentions to get well. We’re achieving balance and harmony, and shedding the dysfunctional, self-destructive cycles of addiction. 

The stress we cause ourselves by being overly worried, afraid and controlling with ourselves impedes our recovery. It makes us deeply unhappy. It causes us to be unkind to ourselves, rather than encouraging and motivating. It takes away from the productive energy of healing and holds us back. The more we can surrender to the journey and accept all the ups and downs and twists and turns of recovery, the more we can relinquish control and open our hearts to all the blessings our healing has in store for us.

Your new life starts today. Let Riverside Recovery be your support system as you do the work to heal. Call (800) 871-5440 for more information on our addiction recovery treatment programs.