As we’re working to recover, it’s impossible to feel hopeful and optimistic all the time. We’re bound to have times when we feel hopeless, pessimistic, even cynical. We’re going to experience feeling down on ourselves, afraid, defeated, and self-doubting. How hopeful we are about our recovery often determines how successful we ultimately are. If we’re constantly chipping away at our hopefulness, we aren’t building up our internal resources for resilience, strength, and self-empowerment. We’re actually working against ourselves and contributing to the self-destructive tendencies that fuel our addictions and mental health issues. Hope is critically important to our ability to get well. How can we hold onto our hope?
We don’t want to force ourselves to feel hopeful when we’re feeling otherwise. That’s usually not helpful or productive because it doesn’t feel genuine to us. When we’re feeling hopeless, rather than trying to force ourselves to be hopeful and optimistic, we want to try and soothe ourselves as much as possible. We want to nurture and care for ourselves when we’re feeling down on ourselves. We want to try and comfort ourselves as much as possible while we’re experiencing all this fear and sadness. We want to be patient with ourselves and remind ourselves that this difficult phase won’t last forever. Our hope will return, little by little, and we will get through this tough time. Rather than panicking and feeling bad about ourselves for feeling hopeless, we can remind ourselves that all of our emotions are part of our healing process. How we handle our feelings of hopelessness is part of the spiritual test of our recovery. We’re being tested. We’re being challenged to move through our hopelessness with courage.
Affirm to yourself that everything is going to be okay, that your doubts about yourself and your ability to recover are just temporary, and that every day you’re growing stronger and more empowered, even when it doesn’t feel like it. Remind yourself that you’re being prepared for the challenges of recovery by being given the test of difficult emotions. Keep telling yourself that you’re strong, you’re capable, you’re confident, you’re motivated – and work to believe these new truths as you’re reprogramming your thought patterns. When you’re feeling down on hope, it can help to repeat affirmations such as “I am holding onto hope. I am growing stronger. I can handle this and any other challenge that comes my way. This is a beautiful journey I’m on. I’m looking forward to all the progress I’m going to make. I’m excited for what’s to come. I’m proud of myself for all the hard work I’m doing and the changes I’m making. I’m hopeful about my future.”
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.