When we’re in recovery and reintegrating back into our former lives, there are some emotional challenges we confront that can act as blocks to our healing. Part of our recovery work, along with our abstinence, is facing these blocks and doing our best to heal the parts of ourselves that are limited and restricted by them. We can feel controlled and overpowered by these emotional blocks, so working through them is one of the most challenging aspects of our healing work. These blocks can be deeply rooted within us, and they are firmly planted in our subconscious minds, so it will take time, effort and energy to clear them. The work we do to move past these blocks will serve us not only in our recovery but for the rest of our lives and will help make us happier and healthier moving forward.
One of our greatest emotional blocks in recovery is the limiting belief that we can’t heal. Even when we’ve made a great deal of progress, we still question and doubt ourselves. We’re still afraid that we’ll relapse. We doubt our strength and willpower. We worry that we don’t have the conviction necessary to recover fully. We’ve been battling addiction for so long, and many of us have even gotten sober before, only to relapse. We’ve felt firsthand the sting of disappointment and the bitterness of regret. We personally know what shame and remorse feel like. We’ve had to live with the painful truth that we’ve hurt the people we care about, and ourselves, with our addictions. We allowed our addictive behaviors to take over our lives and were continuously living out the recurring cycles and patterns of self-destructiveness and self-sabotage. Memories of those times stay with us. We can feel haunted by them. When we feel we’ve made progress, we remind ourselves that failure might always be right around the corner. When we’ve helped ourselves move forward, we’re quick to flog ourselves about all the mistakes we’ve made, all the wrongdoings we haven’t let go of. We inundate ourselves with guilt and shame for things we can no longer change or control. As such, we feel controlled and overpowered by our emotions. We convince ourselves that we’re not strong enough to heal. Consciously we want to get better, but subconsciously we’re sabotaging our every effort.
To heal this wounded part of us, we have to access our subconscious mind and start reprogramming all of the harmful conditioning stored there. We can affirm to ourselves that we are strong enough to heal, we are capable, we are powerful, we believe in ourselves and have faith in ourselves. When we think and speak to ourselves differently, we start to create entirely new neuropathways in our brains. When we stop thinking and speaking in the old detrimental patterns we used to, those neuropathways start to heal. We can replace harmful thought patterns with beneficial ones. What can you start telling yourself to empower and uplift yourself? How can you shift your self-talk and your self-perception? How can you create a healthier self-image for yourself? Our recovery work has to include changing our mentality around our healing, or we’ll continue to self-sabotage as we’re subconsciously working against our goals.
Another emotional block to healing is the deep self-rejection we still feel, that has been tied up with our addictions and mental health issues for much of our lives. We constantly feel like we’re not good enough. We compare ourselves to other people, especially people who don’t suffer the same afflictions we do. We envy their happiness and balance. We crave their success. We don’t value or appreciate ourselves. We feel as though we don’t deserve to have the things we want in life. We don’t feel capable of achieving peace in our lives. These feelings are huge blocks to our healing. We’re literally derailing our progress every time we allow ourselves to think these self-deprecating thoughts. We have to build up our self-love and feelings of self-worth. We can start affirming to ourselves that we love ourselves, we value ourselves, we appreciate and respect ourselves. We want to get to a point where we love ourselves unconditionally and accept ourselves, flaws and all. We want to start seeing any perceived weaknesses as unique parts of our character. Our difficult experiences, our challenges, even the things we’re less than proud of, are all part of what makes us who we are. We can appreciate them for contributing to our growth and evolution and for strengthening and empowering us along our journey.
Another emotional block to our healing is our tendency to be pessimistic and negative about our chances for success. Along with our self-defeating thought patterns, we can be quick to point out all the people we know who’ve relapsed, or even overdosed. We dwell on our failures rather than amplifying and celebrating our successes. We have to retrain our minds to be more positive, optimistic and hopeful. We can affirm to ourselves that yes, we can do this, we can succeed, we can heal. It is absolutely within our power to get better and to do what’s best for ourselves.
Clearing our emotional blocks to healing takes work, but every step we take in that direction will pay off exponentially. Our minds will start working differently. We’ll start thinking in ways that encourage and uplift us rather than keeping us down. We’ll become our own allies in our recovery.
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. We understand the emotional challenges of addiction recovery and are here to support you. Call us today for more information: (800) 871-5440.