When living with addiction and mental illness, we accumulate layers of challenging experiences that make us question who we are and what our place in the world is. We tend to see our difficulties as a negative thing, especially when they bring us years of confusion and turmoil. As we’re working to recover, though, we could start to see all of our experiences differently. We could see them as gifts that teach us valuable lessons, as spiritual tests that push us and challenge us. We could explore what these experiences have to offer us in the form of wisdom and guidance, and how they can add to our growth and expansion.
Every experience we go through, no matter how painful, can teach us something if we’re open to learning from it. We often will shut down whenever we’re confronted with a difficult experience. Our instinct is to avoid feeling all of the difficult emotions that accompany our challenges, the sadness, the fear, the shame and overwhelm. If we can learn to accept these feelings rather than resist them, though, there is tremendous opportunity for growth within them. Exploring our experiences in greater depth allows us to face ourselves with even more clarity and honesty, and this self-exploration is a true gift. We get to reconnect with our inner selves. We gain self-love and self-acceptance. We learn truths about ourselves that we might not have learned otherwise. We’re strengthened and empowered along our journey of recovery. We start to see that our challenging experiences are actually blessings in disguise, and that we have much to be gained when we’re open to seeing the beauty in them.
Our recovery is inviting us to embrace our challenges rather than dismissing them. We’re being asked to see our journey as a whole, as the beautiful culmination of all our hard work, our efforts and our commitment, rather than as disparate painful experiences that we can’t seem to make sense of. Altogether they help form who we are and help us develop our character, our identity, our self-worth, and our sense of purpose. When we see the gifts we’re being presented with in the form of our challenges, we grow closer to ourselves and are blessed with a stronger connection to our true, beautiful selves.
Riverside Recovery is committed to helping you uncover the issues fueling your addictions. Our treatment programs include multiple forms of therapy, family workshops and mindfulness-based relapse prevention education. Call (800) 871-5440 for more information.