According to an online dictionary, an attitude is “a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something, typically one that is reflected in a person’s behavior”. The attitude we have towards ourselves and our recovery is essential. It can support our path to sobriety or it can derail us.
For instance, according to the book Pathways to Recovery, two important attitudes to have regarding your desire to change is hope and courage. Both hope and courage can bring positive feelings to recovery and nourish the need to change. Hope is the feeling of having an expectation that an event will take place or that something will change. It can be a small glimmer of light in the midst of feeling depressed or trapped by life. Alongside hope, courage can provide the bravado and bravery to take the steps you once thought was not possible.
It’s common for a person to feel the need to escape from everything when he or she feels depressed, trapped, helpless, or hopeless. Certainly, these heavy feelings can contribute to regular drinking, which is how a dependency upon drugs or alcohol as well as an addiction can slowly begin. Not understanding how to face the magnitude of life’s challenges and not having the tools to cope with such debilitating emotions can make turning to drinking and drug use easy to do.
However, it’s also common for people to have those deep and heavy feelings while at the same time feel a strong desire to create change. To do this, recovering addicts might need find a better coping tool, such as journaling, as a replacement for drinking or using drugs when facing life’s stressful moments. There are other tools to use in order to work with the challenging existential feelings of despair. Other tools include participate in therapy. Working with a therapist can help a person feel as though their feelings and ideas are heard and acknowledged, find hope among the tragedies in one’s life, and learn how to have a healthy relationship with another person.
Another tool that can support hope and courage is to participate in process groups, in which participants all struggle with the same challenge, such as addiction. A good example of this is an AA 12-step group. And there are many other support groups in which participants can learn from and support each other. Hearing the stories of others can stimulate inspiration, courage, and hope. Furthermore, if you felt burdened by the tragedies of the world in general, you might also participate in groups that are creating social change.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction, contact a mental health provider. A therapist can support the beginning changes required for recovery from addiction as well as the process through long-term abstinence. A therapist can also inspire the hope and courage needed to develop an attitude of sobriety. You might also need to attend a drug treatment center, see a medical doctor, and/or gather the support of your family.
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