by Restorations Therapy Center on Thursday, March 12th, 2020
Recovery is an incredibly courageous journey, and you simply can’t continue on without people around you to support you. As human beings, we fundamentally rely on social interactions because we crave social connections and feeling as though we belong. We talk to others, we create stories, we laugh, we empathize, and that’s probably one of the biggest connections between all of us as human beings. In America, we’re told growing up that family is supposed to be there for you, no matter what. Movies, commercials, and other forms of media depict family as something that can never break; but when birthdays or holidays roll around, and nobody has called or has invited us to participate in events, it hurts. Badly.
It doesn’t make it any easier, but the reality is that there are thousands of people out there who don’t maintain a connection with their family. Many families are broken – they don’t get along, there is distance between family members, or certain values seem too contradicting for family members to work through.
Research has shown that for those in addiction recovery, sometimes it’s necessary to distance themselves from those who are hindering them from being successful in sobriety – but even if it’s family, it may be necessary for your long-term mental, physical and spiritual happiness. To lose family members is incredibly difficult, but sobriety requires that we take everything one step at a time.
Some of your loved ones may not fit into your recovery journey right now, and that’s okay. Perhaps you need this time to build your strength, and there are many ways you can do this.
For example, you could focus on connecting with other people. Many people in recovery find that, while it’s always hard in the beginning, there are people whom they can connect with through their recovery program at Restoration Therapy. For example, 12-Step programs offer many opportunities to get to know other people, and this can be comforting to know that there are other people who are in a similar circumstance as yourself.
The less you focus on the past, and the people who aren’t actively involved in your recovery, the less time you have to focus on you. You’re missing out on some crucial pieces of the puzzle here, and that’s your health, happiness, and recovery journey. You will build up your strength and confidence over time, but you have to stay focused. Over time, you’ll find that you’re more confident and capable than you ever were before – and it’s a beautiful transition to witness as time goes on.
Sometimes the hardest lesson to learn is to let go of all those expectations; you know, the ones where you expect your family to be 110% supportive, the ones where you expect that you’ll fail or succeed in recovery with or without them, the ones where you expect they will or will not ever enter back into your life – those expectations don’t matter because they don’t reflect the truth or reality. Expectations are formed out of our anxiety because we want greater control of the situation – but we have to learn to let go, and let the universe determine what’s needed for us throughout time.
Transitioning right from letting go of expectations, the present moment is exactly where you need to be! If you allow yourself to get lost in the deep, dark tunnel of regret, guilt, humiliation, disappointment, anger, bitterness, sadness, loneliness, or other negative feelings that are harboring you down, you dim your light. You miss precious time to build yourself, to become a better person – to become the person you’ve always been inside.
Studies say that mindfulness actually tunes us into the present moment and helps our brain process natural rewards that are good for us. Addiction tends to make it hard to find pleasure in all things non-substance related, and recovery is the time to build that up again. With time and practice, mindfulness can bring your life back to you – and you’ll find that as you tune into the present moment more, you’re more easily able to navigate daily life and all of the challenges that come with it.
Last but not least, find what makes you happy. Even though you don’t have your loved ones around, perhaps you need this space to really find yourself amidst the chaos. Discover your hobbies. Connect with God or another Higher Power. Give back to others. Find your purpose. Spend time working on your mental, physical and spiritual healing so that you know your place in this world and what it can offer you.
Located in Centennial, Colorado, Restoration Therapy works with patients who are struggling with addiction, intimacy disorders, and trauma who are seeking treatment. In order to offer patients a more holistic view on healthy sexuality, Restoration Therapy offers individualized and group therapy, workshops, psycho-educational classes, and more to restore the harm brought on by addiction and intimacy issues. For more information, please call us at (720) 446-6585 as we are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.