Here’s the truth: no matter how hard we try, we can’t have it all. Nothing in life is perfect, so it’s to your benefit that you stop obsessing over perfection. This includes your recovery from substance use. You may not understand why you cannot just have one drink here or there. After all, what’s the harm in one drink every once in a while? But, one drink leads to two. Two leads to three, and, before you know it, the whole six-pack is gone. You must commit fully to being in recovery. You cannot do recovery half-heartedly. You’ve got to go all in. You cannot have your cake and eat it too.
Recovery can be a difficult thing to get down. You aren’t going to be completely successful on the first try. You may even fall down a few times before you’re able to get your footing. The important thing isn’t how many times you fall down, but how many times you get back up and keep moving forward. When you’ve fallen down and made the mistake of using a substance when you are trying not to use, don’t beat yourself up over the mistake. You probably feel bad enough, so don’t put extra negativity into your recovery. Instead, have a positive mantra that you repeat to yourself that helps motivate you. This mantra can be as simple as, “I’m doing the best that I can.” Through the practice of self-compassion, you’re allowing yourself to believe that you cannot have it all, but that it’s okay.
Self-compassion means that you are being kind to yourself, regardless of the moment. Most of us have a tendency to be harder on ourselves than we would be to others. If you think you’re being extra hard on yourself, question whether you would talk to a friend that way. If you wouldn’t talk to a friend in the way you’re talking to yourself, you’re probably being unnecessarily harsh. You can even ask yourself if you would talk to a child in the way you’re talking to yourself. If the answer is no, you’re probably being too hard on yourself.
Beyond kindness, self-compassion means that you are non-judgmental. You are accepting of your current situation, regardless of anything that may have gone wrong. Radical acceptance—the practice of totally and completely accepting where you are in the present moment and withholding all judgment—is the epitome of self-compassion.
For When You Try to Have It All
Although deep down, we usually know we can’t have it all, we sometimes still try. In these moments, we may try to toe the “having it all” line. We may try to get as close as we can to having it all, even though we know that we will sacrifice what we believe in. Because, we may think, if we go as far as we can without crossing that line, then it’s okay. But the truth is that it’s not okay. As soon as you’ve made the decision to try to have it all, you’ve already failed.
If you’ve been working on sobriety but have recently tried to have your cake and eat it too, you have probably found yourself in a relapse. Relapse can bring all types of emotions into the equation. You may feel ashamed that you’ve relapsed, angry with yourself, or defeated that you may never be able to get back to sobriety. You can get back up, however. Dust yourself off and keep moving forward. You’re going to have to dig in and do hard work to get back on the track of recovery, but it’s worth it. Deep down, you know that.
If you’ve found yourself amidst a relapse, prepare yourself for the feelings we mentioned above. You know you’re going to be feeling a whirlwind of emotions, so get ready for them. Try not to judge them or push them away. Accept them and deal with them in a healthy way. This can be done by reaching out to a trained professional or speaking to a trusted friend or family member about how you’re doing. Use these feelings as motivation to get back to sobriety. You’ve got this!
Next, you’re going to want to get support. This can be done through 12-Step meetings or by contacting us at Lighthouse today. This is what we are here for. We are here for you whenever you’re ready to take the next step of your addiction recovery journey. We offer many programs that can help you get back on track. You’re also going to want to have the support of your loved ones. This can be difficult if you are still dealing with feelings of shame, anger, and humiliation. It’s important to remember, however, that your loved ones love you. They are there for you in tough times. They want to help you.
Using your relapse as motivation is a great way to make a learning experience out of something that you wish did not happen. By viewing your relapse as a stepping stone to recovery, you’ve already done some really hard and commendable work. You are getting closer to your goal of recovery. Keep moving forward!
Lighthouse Recovery Texas is here to help you learn important recovery tools. We can give you the support you need after a relapse has occurred. We can’t wait to speak with you and get you started with us today!