Everyone has the capacity to heal. If you’re caught in the throes of an addiction, this might seem like a ridiculous statement. If you’re in the beginning stages of recovery, you may be wondering when the healing is going to start, and the pain is going to stop. Either way, moving forward out of addiction, through recovery and into sobriety is first about learning to be comfortable with your discomfort.
Addition is about coping. It’s about not feeling your feelings, or maybe not even knowing what your feeling. All you do know is you need to get away from it—whatever ‘it’ is. A lot of this kind of strategy is old behavior being recycled into new situations. That’s part of why you feel stuck. The key to getting a handle on your addiction and authentically embracing recovery is putting together a new set of behaviors. That starts with a new way of thinking.
So, the way to start behaving differently is to start thinking differently and, in general, that means moving from a negative outlook to a positive one. Just like saying everyone has the capacity to heal ‘thinking positive’ might sound ridiculous, at first, ‘thinking positively’ is less about that than about thinking differently.
What does different look like? How about moving from your strengths, instead of your vulnerabilities? What if you were to think about all the things you do right, or well or authentically and lead with that, instead of the negative narrative that lives inside your head? The capacity to heal is the capacity to change and that starts with the story you’re telling yourself about this, that or the other thing. Mostly, it’s the story—and it is a story, not a narrative—you’re telling you about yourself.
Ultimately, change is about choice. Sometimes you can’t see the choices because you’re spending all your energy coping; which, when you boil it down means hiding. How would it feel to have someone who understands where you’re coming from, who can meet you where you are and walk with you on your journey? Someone who is simultaneously empathetic and direct, but, at the same time, won’t sign off on the behavior that hasn’t served you in the past, but provide you with choices and let you decide what direction to go in.