Recovery from alcoholism is a long process that requires personal growth, reflection, and a willingness to evolve as a person. In order for an alcoholic to make the transition from drinking to sobriety, there are some important things that they must learn. Being willing to take on new challenges and life lessons allows an alcoholic to begin to recover in a truly significant way.
Taking Responsibility For Actions Is Key
It is very common for alcoholics to get into the mindset that everything is out of their control. Indeed, one of the most terrifying aspects of addiction is that it leaves a recovering addict feeling powerless against their own addiction and, perhaps, against the world at large.
When a person is addicted to alcohol or any substance, their brain becomes fixated with the idea of finding and using more alcohol, and this often results in anger and misplaced frustration toward anyone and anything that gets in the way of their using. Part of this misplaced anger can include the incorrect assumption that an alcoholic has no role in their own problems and that the world at large is against them.
In reality, every person has some role in any conflict they are involved in, even if that role is keeping people in one's life after they have demonstrated a capacity to be destructive.
2. Nothing Lasts Forever
For many people, drinking is a way of numbing pain and other uncomfortable emotions. This causes a cycle of use because an alcoholic becomes fixated with continuing to use and ceases to have the tools available to deal with emotions in a healthy way.
Recovery can be a very difficult time, because, in the absence of alcohol to "numb" problems, an alcoholic may suddenly find that they are experiencing a flood of difficult emotions. It is very important for an alcoholic to learn that this discomfort, like everything, is temporary and will eventually go away.
Understanding the temporary nature of pain can help a person to behave with strength.
3. It Is Important To Ask For Help When Needed
No man is an island, and seldom is this a more important lesson to learn than in recovery. Surrounding one's self with supportive people and being willing to ask for help when necessary greatly increases an addict's chances of being able to recover and stay healthy in the long run.
Coming to the realization that asking for help is actually a sign of strength allows an addict to make great strides in their recovery and to continue to grow as a person.
4. Challenges Are a Chance For Growth
While undergoing the struggles inherent in recovery may be difficult and even painful, these struggles ultimately happen for a reason. Rather than shying away from struggles, an addict must learn to face them head on and to begin to recognize hardships as the learning experiences that they can be.
When an alcoholic can begin to see hardships as an opportunity for personal growth, they will be able to continually become stronger and more capable people.
5. Nothing Good Comes Of Self Loathing
Shame and guilt are emotions that every alcoholic is all too familiar with. Sadly, the longer a person is addicted to alcohol, the more experience they have with self loathing. The reality is, however, that this kind of behavior does nothing to help an addict grow and, in fact, only leaves them more likely to engage in destructive behavior.
The key to getting healthy and staying healthy lies not in guilt and shame but in cultivating self love and respect.