An integral part of recovery is accepting where you are in life, accepting your illness, and accepting the work that must be done to recover. It’s also essential to get past failures, the consequences of past decisions, and the fact that there will be times where you may have to work harder than others to maintain your recovery.
But, remember that it’s all worth it. Finding acceptance ourselves can be incredibly difficult. We are, more often than not, our own worse critics. Harping on our worst decisions, every mistake we’ve ever made, and wishing we could change the past only leads to persistent feelings of guilt, shame, and other negative energies and emotions. We may sometimes try to avoid situations or challenges that present themselves to us.
We can essentially remove the past from every situation by accepting what is, instead of wasting that time and energy wishing things were different. Maybe you or someone you know is struggling with addiction or mental illness and have yet to accept that struggle. If so, perhaps what you read here can help you learn the importance of acceptance, how it can help you find treatment, and begin your path to recovery today.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
An article in the Journal of Clinical Medicine Research on the use of acceptance commitment therapy (ACT) in treating substance use disorders defines ACT as a form of “behavioral therapy that teaches people to learn to accept rather than avoid challenging situations in their lives.” ACT has been reported successful as an effective intervention technique and in decreasing mental disorders and SUD.
The article describes ACT’s primary goal as “guiding people to accept the urges and symptoms associated with substance misuse (acceptance) and use psychological flexibility and value-based interventions to reduce those urges and symptoms (commitment).”
ACT, like any treatment and intervention method, can have many different pros and cons. Some benefits of ACT include:
- Acceptance allows people to handle problems without experiencing debilitating anxiety, shame, or guilt.
- ACT cognitive diffusion enables people to “experience negative thoughts and emotions to challenge their behavior without fixating on them.”
- Mindfulness allows individuals to be conscious of negatives feelings without feeling guilt or criticizing themselves.
- Commitment allows someone to achieve a long-term goal by focusing on the values that help them achieve that goal.
- ACT can help individuals become more psychologically flexible overall.
Finding acceptance for any sort of life challenge can be difficult for most people to do. Part of finding acceptance is letting go of things we can’t control — those things that often consume us. It’s so easy for us to become consumed by the things we are powerless over in our lives, whether it’s individuals or situations, or both. Learning to find acceptance in life can often be done by learning to live a more mindful life. Practicing mindfulness is a topic that has been frequently discussed, especially in terms of recovery.
Some of the ways the Lakehouse can help you to practice mindfulness include:
- Meditation practices
- Group therapy
- One-on-One therapy sessions
- Holistic recovery approach
- Individualized treatment programs
These are just a few of the ways our curriculum can help you learn to practice mindfulness, and as a result, find a way to acceptance. Acceptance also takes an immense amount of self-examination and awareness. To accept past mistakes, we have to acknowledge and take responsibility for those mistakes. To accept struggles with addiction or mental illness, we need to acknowledge the illness and accept the steps that need to be taken to recover. To make life changes, we need to recognize and accept where our past life decisions failed us in the past.
The Dangers of Denial
Before coming to a place of acceptance, individuals may often find themselves in a state of denial. When people deny help, they deny the life changes that they will have to make in their lives, or they deny the presence of any illness at all. The first step to accepting anything in recovery is admitting that you are powerless and need help.
Addiction and mental illnesses can be detrimental when untreated. Addiction is a pandemic that has been ravaging the lives of millions in the United States for decades. While recovery, of course, requires a lot of work on the individual seeking treatment, those close to you need to find acceptance too. They need to accept that addiction is a disease that you are struggling with and that you need their help. It’s important to communicate this to your support system so that you will not be alone when you do begin treatment.
Several key factors affect the success of treating and recovering from addiction, substance use disorder, or many kinds of mental illnesses. One of those factors is acceptance. There are many things an individual has to accept to maintain recovery. First and foremost, individuals need to accept that they are dealing with a very real, very dangerous disease. It is then important to acknowledge the road that lies ahead. Recovery is a journey that can come with many roadblocks. By accepting those roadblocks, learning to control what you can, and letting go of what you can’t control, you can liberate yourself from feelings of shame, fear, and anxiety. We at the Lakehouse Recovery Center can assist you on your path to finding acceptance in recovery by helping you to learn mindfulness and committing to acceptance. To learn more, please call us today at (877) 762-3707.