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As we’re working to recover, we’re being called to make important changes in our lives, to create new patterns in our thoughts, feelings and behaviors, and to explore all of the choices we’ve made thus far in order to learn how to make healthier ones. We’re being invited to explore our self-destructive tendencies, our inclination towards self-sabotage, and all the ways in which we’re self-hating and self-defeating. The recovery process can be overwhelming and intimidating for us, especially if we’re only beginning to face ourselves and our truth for the first time in our lives. When it comes to developing ourselves, growing, learning, and improving ourselves, why are we so afraid?  

We associate personal development with the pain and hardship of sacrifice. We’re afraid of sacrificing our drugs of choice and the strong, dependent attachments we have to them. We’re afraid of having to give up the coping mechanisms that bring us comfort but which are actually hurting us more in the long run. We fear all of the transformation that’s to come. What things about ourselves will we have to give up? Will we have to change everything about who we are? Will our identities change? Will we think and feel about ourselves completely differently when we’re sober? These are difficult questions we have to ask ourselves, but the answers come with time and with self-exploration.

The key to facing our fear of personal development might be to infuse it with positive anticipation rather than negative, to choose optimism over dread, and to associate our future not with the fear of uncertainty but with the beauty of possibility. We can see our personal development as a journey that will bring us closer to ourselves, that will teach us valuable information about who we are and what we need in order to heal ourselves. We can view ourselves not just as addicts, not even just as recovering addicts, but as powerful beings full of potential, who have the power to manifest the lives we want for ourselves. When we think of personal development in this way, it becomes exciting. We feel energized and motivated by it. We become eager to see what we can create and accomplish for ourselves. We become compelled to keep doing the work and inspired to keep going, because we know that what’s to come is a sense of happiness, peace and fulfillment we may never have experienced before.

Riverside Recovery is a drug and alcohol treatment center offering a full continuum of care for people suffering from addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. Call us today for more information: (800) 871-5440.