Forgiveness remains one of the most challenging aspects of recovery. The actions you make while in the throes of addiction can feel like an entirely different person made them, but they still have real consequences on the people around you. Whether you’re having difficulties forgiving yourself for what happened, someone you loved for their actions, or simply want to move on with your recovery; this act can become a critical juncture in your journey.
What Does It Mean to Forgive During Recovery?
Trying to place a complex concept like forgiveness in terms of your or a loved one’s ongoing recovery can prove challenging. Forgiveness means something different for everyone, and based on the words and actions involved, it can prove more difficult to wrap your head around it. We’re often our own most vocal critics, so forgiving ourselves for past mistakes often feels impossible.
We look at our past selves and see only the mistakes made, feelings hurt, and actions taken at the expense of others. Forgiving yourself — or a loved one — for those actions often represents an important aspect of the recovery journey, but one that cannot be rushed or glossed over. Coming to terms with that difficult emotional balance often remains one of the most difficult aspects of your addiction treatment plan. Learning how to forgive might seem challenging, but it’s not impossible.
Recognizing What Forgiveness Means
When it comes to our mental health, it’s often the pent-up feelings we refuse to acknowledge or deal with head-on that prove the most damaging. As you struggle with addiction and the ongoing recovery process, forgiving yourself for your moments of weakness can feel impossible.
We hold onto the resentment of those decisions and wallow in the guilt and shame of not being strong enough. Or if it’s something a loved one did, we hold onto those negative feelings because it feels like the only thing we can do.
Forgiveness in the world of substance abuse recovery remains a delicate balancing act. But one of the most important things we need to recognize is that forgiveness allows us to let go of the pent-up disappointment, anger, resentment, and negative emotions that feel like they will swallow us whole if we aren’t careful.
The Role of Acceptance in Forgiveness
Before you can tackle other portions of your addiction treatment program, learning to accept a situation for what it is can be a key determining factor for your forgiveness. Often, we look at specific cases and dream of what they can be for better or worse. The key component of forgiveness comes when you can accept the situation for what it is and begin to move past the negativity.
Acceptance does not equal forgetting or disregarding past deeds. When we choose to forget, we’re doomed to repeat past mistakes; however, accepting the situation for what it is allows for more possibilities to learn and evolve moving forward.
How to Master the Art of Forgiveness
While forgiveness means something different for everyone, that does not mean there aren’t some tips and tricks you can use to make the most of the practice. Various treatment services may prioritize different recovery practices and techniques; however, each has forgiveness playing an integral part in the process.
For many people, forgiveness is a multi-pronged approach to their recovery. Taking steps to forgive yourself and others starts with a parallel feeling that can feel as elusive — compassion. This concept revolves around placing yourself in the shoes of others and examining things from their perspective. You glean insights into their headspace at that moment, learn to understand why decisions were made, and ultimately care about what they felt.
Taking Responsibility for Actions
Before taking a real step towards recovering from drug and alcohol substance use disorders, you must take a hard look at your actions while under your abuse and addictions. One of the biggest obstacles to forgiveness lies in acknowledging that even if your mind was under the influence, you still need to take responsibility for whatever you did. Accepting that you made these decisions, but they don’t have to define your future helps give you your power back for the future.
Releasing the Burden of Expectations
Having a set of expectations for how an event will go often has adverse effects on our perception. We believe that if we do X, Y, and Z, we will get this one outcome, but when it doesn’t go as expected, we take a negative view of the entire situation. Failing to meet expectations can negatively affect your ability to forgive and, ultimately, your recovery.
So if you shift the focus away from how you hope a situation plays out to focusing on embracing whatever comes, you will stand a better chance of successfully forgiving yourself and moving on to the next stage of your recovery.
Contact Silver Pines Treatment Center for Help Forgiving!
Whenever you come to the point where you acknowledge you need help with your recovery, you want to find a substance abuse treatment program in Mahanoy City, PA, that can help with every aspect. You want a support system that can help you learn how to forgive yourself and others properly while taking the next steps in your journey. Silver Pines Treatment Center is ready to help.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, reach out to our team to learn more about various programs and how our staff can help with your recovery journey.