Resilience in Recovery

The process of recovering from our addictions challenges us mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Recovery shows us just how strong we truly are. It puts us to the ultimate test. Recovery from any addiction or mental health issue requires certain skills– willpower, resilience and resolve being some of the most important. Resilience is our ability to rise to the challenges that present themselves in our recovery. It is the strength to overcome anything that comes our way. When we are resilient, we are able to adapt easily and gracefully. We’re able to problem-solve effectively. We feel in control of our thoughts, emotions and behaviors. Resilience feels very different from the fear, dependence and desperation we felt when consumed by our addictions. When we are dependent on an addictive substance, behavior or relationship, we haven’t yet mastered the willpower to overcome addictive urges. We succumb to temptation easily, and our thoughts and feelings feel out of our control. We haven’t become self-loving enough to prioritize our well-being. Resilience becomes the foundation for the emotional work we’ll need to do in order to heal.

How do we develop resilience in our recovery? One of the best ways to create a new habit or emotional pattern is to put energy into changing our self-talk, our inner dialogue. How we talk to ourselves dictates how we function, how we operate in our daily lives, how we see things, how we think about things, how we live. The way we think about ourselves informs how we behave, how we treat ourselves, whether or not we value ourselves. Most of us recovering from addiction are still working to address the deeply rooted issues and traumatic experiences that contributed to our addictions in the first place. Many of us are still healing from years of self-hatred and self-destructiveness. Our self-talk tends to be full of fear, self-doubt and negativity. In order to develop resilience in our healing, we have to start believing in ourselves more. We have to build up our faith in ourselves and shed the limiting beliefs we’ve been carrying about ourselves.

When you think about yourself and your journey, how do you feel about your life, yourself as a person, where you are in your recovery? Do you feel optimistic? Do you feel positive about your progress, or do you feel filled with pessimism and self-doubt? Do you feel confident in your abilities? Do you believe in your capacity for transformation? Do you believe in yourself? Do you live in constant fear that you’ll relapse? Internally are you punishing yourself? Whether or not we will succeed depends on whether or not we believe we will succeed. We are manifesting our progress, and how we interact with ourselves, how resilient we are, is directly responsible for the results we achieve in our recovery.

In order to develop resilience in our recovery work, we have to become our own best friend, our own cheerleader, and number one fan. We have to nurture ourselves, encourage and uplift ourselves, and protect ourselves. We have to treat ourselves with love, compassion, understanding and patience. We should celebrate every single success in our recovery, no matter how small – every day that we don’t drink, every week we don’t use, every time we disengage from that unhealthy relationship, every time we work to change a habit. We should praise and validate ourselves, giving ourselves the attention and recognition we need, that we usually seek from external sources in order to feel worthy. We want to build up our feelings of self-worth and independence. We want to feel self-reliant and capable. We want to feel strong.

We can become anything we want to be. We can change anything about ourselves, develop any new habit or abandon any bad habit, adopt any trait or characteristic. When we believe in ourselves and apply our energy consciously and mindfully, there is no limit to the power of our healing and transformation. Start affirming, “I am resilient. I am strong. I am powerful. I am capable. I am able. I am healing. I am changing. I am growing. I am evolving. I am transforming. I can do all things, with my spirit, my higher power, my inner light.” As you repeat your affirmations (any that resonate with you) practice really giving them your energy. Believe in them as much as you can. They might feel unfamiliar and foreign, even untrue, at first. Commit to this practice, and with time and consistent effort, you’ll be able to transform your belief system into one of self-love, self-affirmation, and faith in yourself. You’ll be developing resilience every time you practice. Congratulate yourself for every win, and affirm your resilience into being. Love and nurture yourself so much that your self-hate and your inclination to want to self-sabotage and self-destruct become things of the past, distant memories of the former version of you. Celebrate your resilience, and celebrate all the beautiful things your life in recovery has to offer.

Established in 1939, High Watch is the world’s first 12-Step treatment center. Every individual who walks through our doors joins a definitive culture of compassion, dignity, and respect from a genuinely caring staff dedicated to seeing the disease of addiction find remission. Providing proven therapeutic approaches and comprehensive 12-Step education, patients leave High Watch with the confidence to maintain abstinence and live a healthy, happy, sober life. Start your journey today by calling 860.927.3772.