Many of us with addictions and mental health issues have developed patterns of resistance over the years, where we are trying to fight our thoughts and feelings rather than accepting them. What we don’t often realize, however, is that resisting something can actually give it more power over us, while acceptance can help us to find peace with it.
When it comes to addiction, depression, anxiety, and other mental health challenges, having acceptance doesn’t mean that we enable or condone unhealthy behaviors. It means we mentally and emotionally come to terms with the pain and fears that are often causing those behaviors in the first place. It means we stop fighting ourselves. When we open ourselves to the truths of our challenges, we allow ourselves to find healing solutions, to listen to our intuition, and to receive guidance. Resistance blocks all of that.
Resistance can include all of the ways we try to avoid something, in our case often a painful emotion, behavior, or thought pattern. We try to avoid feeling it and thinking about it. Our addictions become the ways in which we try to distract ourselves from our painful thoughts and feelings. We try to escape with our drugs of choice. We try to numb ourselves and self-medicate. We want to shut off the parts of ourselves that are the most difficult to deal with. We want so desperately not to feel the pain inside of us that we bury it underneath layers of addictive behaviors, thought patterns and compulsions. We try to silence the parts of us telling us things we don’t want to hear – that we are suffering, that we need help, that we can’t live like this anymore. We ignore other people’s advice. We may get angry or defensive when people call us on our mistakes. We ignore our instincts and often avoid doing what we know is best for ourselves.
All of these forms of resistance compound our problems and bring us more pain. They add fuel to the fire. They give ammunition to our inner demons. They give our mental and emotional challenges increasing control over us and our lives. The more we fight, the stronger they become and the more difficult they become to manage.
When we choose acceptance, we choose peace. We choose to be honest with ourselves. We choose to acknowledge our fragility and fallibility as human beings. We allow ourselves to be vulnerable. We allow ourselves to have humility. We can remember that everything we are experiencing is part of human nature. We can choose to treat ourselves with compassion and understanding rather than judgment and shame.
Recovery requires approaching ourselves and our challenges with new mentalities for healing. Call (575) 586-5078 for more information on how we can help you.