Taking Pride In Recovery
Taking pride in recovery
There is no shame in addiction recovery. But recovering addicts often feel fear, depression, anger and shame. How can you reframe your identity as a person in recovery? We explore here.
The stigma of addiction
Are you having trouble taking pride in recovery? Embarrassment usually comes from the social stigma that surrounds substance addiction. If you are thinking of going into recovery, or are in early recovery from addiction remember this: There is no shame in seeking help for drug or alcohol addiction. On the contrary, achieving sobriety and remaining sober is admirable, so you should be proud of being strong.
Continue reading here to learn why you should be taking pride in recovery and how to achieve that. Then, if you have any questions, you can send them to us through the comments section at the end of the page.
The definition of pride
In a positive manner, “pride” is defined as a feeling of deep satisfaction that derives from some achievement or work done. In correlation to recovery, pride can come from setting realistic expectations and achievable goals for yourself, and following through as much as possible. If you are doing your best, take pride in it.
In fact, it is positive to feel proud of your recovery. You’ve managed to fight this terrible disease and condition that was ruling your life. That’s definitely something to be proud of. Why is this important? And how can you keep it in check?
Why is pride in recovery important?
First of all, it’s absolutely toxic to become depressed by the actions of the past. Realization in recovery can bring you great shame. Yes, your addiction has caused great pain to those who love you. Yes, you’ve also caused harm to yourself. Realizing these things is normal, and addiction recovery will be full of many self-realizations that can be hard to face.
But, you are fighting addictive THINKING, even when you feel too weak or defeated. You are doing something about it. You are not giving up! You should be proud of that. Now, let’s revise the healthy reasons behind feeling proud for being a recovering addict.
4 things any addict in recovery can be proud of
1. Small steps.
Be proud of all things you achieve in recovery. This includes small steps and leaps, since they are all moving you forward. Taking pride in your accomplishments is rewarding, and feeling good will only drive you towards more success.
2. Time and effort.
Starting your life over is a challenging experience. Be proud because you put the time and effort into accomplishing your goals. Feeling proud will only encourage you to keep working hard.
3. Your example to others.
You are making new friends, following a spiritual path, and making drastic life changes. Sometimes, you might not even be aware of it, but you may be the example for others. Take pride in that.
4. Team work.
If you are a part of a support group, you can take pride in the collective accomplishments. Moving forward as a team is something to be proud of. Plus, feeling pride for the accomplishments of others can be a source of happiness.
Negative aspects of pride in recovery
Still, not having moderation may be the one thing that can turn pride into a negative characteristic. Excessively proud people may treat others as inferior to them, while overestimating themselves. Quite often, recovering addicts with low self-esteem will be overly proud in order to hide the inner feelings.
When a person in recovery is excessively proud, their whole recovery process is in danger. Here is how the negative side of excessive pride can look:
1. Inability to ask for help.
Pride can be the main restriction for some addicts to ask for help in the first place. Individuals with an excessive sense of pride can have a hard time acknowledging that they have a problem.
Being excessively proud can be annoying to other people. Nobody wants to put up with self-absorbing and cocky individuals. This means they would have a hard time establishing solid interpersonal relationships.
3. Inability to admit fault.
In recovery, addicts need to face life. Having an unrealistic sense of pride can become stuck in recovery. If they are unable to face and admit the mistakes they’ve done due to feeling proud, it can also increase the chances of relapse.
4. Trouble with spiritual growth.
People in recovery can benefit from humility. Individuals who want to recover spiritually, need to let go of their pride to some extent. The excessively proud individuals can struggle with growing their spirituality.
Working through the emotions of recovery can be challenging. Learn how to cheer yourself for the positive achievements in your recovery process. It brings much good, just don’t over-do it.
Now, it’s time for your questions and comments. We appreciate your feedback, so feel free to share your opinions or ask us something on this subject. We try to answer your questions personally and promptly.
Ivana Janevska is passionate about helping match people in recovery with support and services they need. She is a staff writer at Addiction Blog and says, “Don’t focus on the problem, focus on the solution. See what people choose not to see, out of fear or conformity. Then, pay it forward.”