Wrestling with acceptance is an often enigmatic idea. It can be difficult to truly embrace what acceptance is, the forms it takes, and how it impacts one’s ongoing recovery. However, acceptance plays a role in many aspects of one’s life, and learning to accept one’s past, identity, and unique experiences is crucial in accepting a transformed, sober future.
Whether taking the first step into a detox program or embracing a newfound lifestyle in sobriety after time at a center for alcohol and drug treatment, there are daily practices one can use to further their understanding of acceptance and its role in sustained sobriety.
The Role of Acceptance in Recovery
Each individual’s experiences, perspectives, and beliefs will form their journey with various forms of acceptance. Regardless of the trials one may face along their journey, learning to accept one’s past and identity are crucial elements of a truly transformative experience. Not all forms of acceptance are equally difficult to navigate. While some may struggle with finding a spiritual acceptance of themselves, others may be plagued with feelings of guilt and shame as they tackle accepting their past while struggling with addiction.
However, embracing acceptance is necessary. It can be challenging to establish a new lifestyle in sobriety if one has not accepted their past experiences or identity. Creating personalized recovery techniques for maintaining a sober transformation is paramount, and one’s recovery can be stunted until one accepts these aspects of their story. Understanding the various forms of acceptance can empower each individual to engage in daily practices to further accept themselves and facilitate a healthy, sober transformation.
Accepting the Past
Accepting what happened in the past is a significant hurdle for many, especially as it relates to substance abuse or mental health disorders. However, challenging how one views the past, feelings of shame or guilt, and how one’s experiences shape their perspectives are all part of the recovery process.
Accepting the past doesn’t necessarily mean that one has to forgive themselves or anyone involved immediately. However, it does mean that an individual needs to embrace an honest depiction of their past decisions, experiences, and the effects these experiences have on substance abuse.
For those suffering from trauma, reliving and accepting the past can be exceptionally difficult. However, it is a necessary part of the recovery process. By creating an honest understanding of one’s experiences, one can create an effective, personalized recovery plan based on their needs. Without accepting one’s past, it is difficult to maintain sustained change as there may be gaps in one’s recovery strategies, or the strategies developed may not be as effective as otherwise possible if one isn’t willing to confront past experiences.
Creating a journal to write about experiences, edit words, and create an honest space to address one’s past experiences can be instrumental. It allows an individual to navigate their past in a profound way where they can look back on how their perspectives have changed throughout their recovery efforts. Trauma-informed professionals, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and somatic experiencing can all be instrumental in navigating the past.
Accepting One’s Identity
There can also be a plethora of barriers one faces when developing their identity. There is nothing easy about accepting oneself for who one is, interests, or any other aspect of one’s identity. For some, accepting one’s sexuality or gender identity is a difficult struggle, while others may battle with accepting their interests or hobbies due to perceived stigmas. However, recovery is more than a battle with substance abuse; it is a wholly transformative effort, and accepting oneself is just as important as any other part of the recovery process.
Maintaining sobriety while struggling with one’s identity is complicated, especially as one attempts to set goals or allow themself to engage in personal interests. Exploring new hobbies alongside friends and family is part of one’s transformation. Finding a hobby or online social group using newfound interests or challenges can create a feeling of acceptance of these parts of identity, which helps each individual feel less isolated in their struggles with identity while celebrating new interests.
Accepting that one made mistakes under the influence of drugs and alcohol is difficult. One may blame themself for the deterioration of relationships, professional or financial struggles, or even legal ramifications from their substance use. However, accepting these mistakes is necessary for processing them.
Making amends with friends and family is a challenging task, especially as one may be riddled with feelings of guilt or shame. However, holding onto these feelings can cause an individual to feel stuck in these negative experiences, or an individual may define themselves by these mistakes.
Taking time to apologize for specific situations resulting from addiction is crucial in rebuilding these relationships, and only by accepting these mistakes can an individual rectify and heal from them. Apologizing for one thing at a time, writing and planning these apologies, and even rehearsing them can all be powerful ways to practice hearing these words. Each time, this helps individuals process and accept these mistakes to pave the way for a healthier, sober future.
Acceptance can take time to truly embrace, and each person will have their own timeline of acceptance. At Hawaii Island Recovery, we understand the incredibly personal nature of recovery and sobriety. Our rehab in Hawaii is committed to helping you explore acceptance in all areas of your life while supporting you each step of the way. We offer an array of comprehensive, proven therapeutic modalities to help you explore your own identity, past, and feelings throughout the recovery process. All are backed by our supportive and caring atmosphere of peers and professionals alike. Your time with us will be personalized to address your unique needs and goals, from your first step into detox to ongoing outpatient support. For more information on how we can help you through your journey with acceptance, or to speak to a trained professional about your goals for recovery, call us today at (866) 390-5070.