Learning to Take Responsibility for Our Emotions

Our addictions and mental health issues have a lot to do with our mental and emotional patterns, and one of the most destructive ones many of us tend to develop is failing to take responsibility for our emotions. We can find our feelings so hard to cope with that we want to place them on other people. We blame loved ones for our depression and addiction. We don’t take ownership of our emotions and subconsciously want other people to do the emotional work for us. We project our challenging feelings onto other people. We transfer the pain from our own internal issues to other people, who may or may not have anything to do with the issues in question. We blame people for hurting our feelings and insist that they have made us feel a certain way, instead of acknowledging that we’ve allowed them to make us feel that way. Not taking responsibility for our emotions is one of the many ways in which we try to get out of doing the emotional work necessary for recovery, and by doing so, we stall our healing and make it harder for us to grow.

An important step in learning to be responsible for our feelings is confronting the fear we feel around our difficult emotions. We’ve come to believe that we’re not strong enough to cope with our sadness, our confusion, our shame and fear. We feel weak and powerless in the face of them. Our addictions often develop around these limiting beliefs, and we use our drugs of choice to try and numb the pain we feel but are afraid to face. We want to get to the point where we feel confident knowing that there is no issue, emotion or challenge we can’t handle, no obstacle we can’t overcome, and no pain we can’t move through. When we feel more sure of ourselves and more self-empowered, we see that taking responsibility for our emotions is an act of strength and courage. We stop wanting to place our emotions on other people or blame them for how we feel, because we see that in doing so, we’ve been chipping away at our own power to heal ourselves and move through our emotions in healthy ways. We make the conscious choice to take ownership of both our emotions and our recovery, because we see that this is a crucial part of getting better and learning how to care for ourselves mentally and emotionally. 

Riverside Recovery understands all of the emotional challenges of addiction recovery and is here to support you. Call us today for more information: (800) 871-5440.