Forgiveness and acceptance in recovery are important for moving forward with positivity.
Addiction is a family disease that affects every member of the household. It’s common for people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol to behave in ways that hurt family members or friends. Forgiveness and acceptance in recovery are central to long-term success.
Self Forgiveness in Addiction Recovery
Guilt and shame take a toll on your self-esteem and mental health. While these negative emotions can motivate change, they can also lead to denial, self-hatred, and even relapse. Guilt and shame can lead to hostility, blaming others, and making excuses.
Self forgiveness in addiction recovery is essential for letting go of negative emotions. Self forgiveness leads to greater mental clarity, higher self-esteem, reduced stress, and fewer negative emotions. Self forgiveness can transform anger into peace, and it can increase feelings of love and compassion for yourself and others.
Acceptance of drug addiction is the first step of self-forgiveness. You have to accept the reality that you were addicted to drugs, accept the fact that you damaged some of your relationships and did things you’re not proud of. You can’t change the things that happened during your addiction, but you can accept them as part of your reality and move forward, ready to make things right.
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Part of forgiveness and acceptance in recovery is making apologies and amends. Making amends means that you take action to undo the damage done. While that won’t change the fact that you did certain things, it will help you forgive yourself, and it will help the people you love see that you’re serious about changing. Making amends can help you rebuild damaged relationships.
Making amends can be tough, but it’s a necessary step in recovery. If you stole money from someone, pay it back. If you took advantage of people, make it up to them by helping them out in whatever ways you can. Apologize to the people you hurt, and ask for their forgiveness.
Maybe your negative behaviors weren’t all your fault, and maybe there are people whom you need to forgive. Forgiveness and acceptance in recovery are also about forgiving others for hurting you. Accepting that you were hurt and then letting go of the hurt and the negative emotions surrounding it–such as anger, hatred and distrust–are essential for a healthy mindset and for repairing damaged relationships.
Forgiving Your Addicted Loved One
Forgiving an addicted loved one who hurt you isn’t easy. It requires acceptance of drug addiction as a disease that changes brain function, which affects thought and behavior patterns. Forgiving isn’t the same as forgetting. You don’t have to forget what happened, but rather accept that it happened and understand that there’s no changing the past, only the present. Forgiving requires looking deeper at the person you love and finding the fundamental humanity, the deeply flawed but beautiful person behind the actions, and holding on to that. Letting go of the hurt, anger, and other negative emotions will help jump start the process of restoring trust and repairing the damage the addiction did to your relationship.
Therapy Can Help
If you’re having trouble forgiving yourself, others, or an addicted person you love, therapy can help. A professional therapist can help you delve into the issues and identify the reasons why you can’t seem to forgive. Therapy can help you change dysfunctional patterns of thinking surrounding hurtful things you did or that were done to you.
A high quality treatment program puts important focus on repairing relationships through self-forgiveness and forgiving others. It helps addicted individuals and their families find acceptance in recovery and forgiveness in their hearts for more positive relationships and a better shot at long-term successful recovery.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.