Building a Positive Mindset in Recovery
There is a book titled, A New Pair of Glasses, by Chuck Chamberlain. Chuck C. was an influential member of Alcoholics Anonymous leading up to his passing in 1984. The message in this text is that, in recovery, we have the opportunity to see life through a new lens every day.
No day is exactly like the one before. This is not a metaphor; this is the literal truth. Because of this fact, we can start over each and every day. This is why the “24 hours at a time” model is so popular in recovery. Whenever we fall or slip up, there is always another chance to take the next right step.
For some, the world is a playground, and for others, it’s a place of suffering that they can only escape through addiction (which, as we know, is not a real escape). In recovery, we can begin to shift our worldview from the negative to the positive. We can shift our mindset from being a “user” to being a creator who is actively flourishing and enjoying life. On the other side of addiction, there is the true self and real life. Recovery invites us to find out what that is.
The Vicious “Rinse and Repeat” Cycle of Active Addiction
Many people balk at the concept of “one day at a time” in recovery. For those who do, it might be a good idea to think about what their active addiction looked like. Most likely, it revolved around feeding that addiction, by any means necessary day in and day out. Feeding that fix, “one day at a time.”
Once we can admit that active addiction is a vicious cycle of “rinse and repeat” toxicity, then it may be easier to accept a more positive path, “one day at a time.” Though that is not to say that adopting a recovery lifestyle is going to be easy, we can say that it is going to be worth it.
Addiction Is “Cunning, Baffling, and Powerful”
It is no surprise that adopting a positive mindset is difficult in early recovery. Addiction has effectively dulled our senses and created within us a one-track mind. Fuel our addiction at any cost.
12-Step programs refer to addiction as “cunning, baffling, and powerful.” This is because if we are not careful, there is a chance that even the smallest of reasons can cause us to slip back into our old addictive habits.
Many in recovery describe the feeling of waking up, promising themselves (and often others) that they are never going to indulge in their addiction again. This is only to find out that they are engaging in that very behavior later that day.
This is not a matter of willpower. It is also not a matter of dishonesty. The people that make this promise truly mean it. However, their addiction is too much for them without a new solution. When the old solution of addiction no longer works, it is time to find a new one. If not, then real recovery cannot flourish.
We Are Not a Glum Lot
There is a fear that many people share coming into recovery that this new way of life is going to be dull, sad, and boring—that people in recovery are just a bunch of “glum” loners. The truth is that recovery can be the exact opposite. Besides, how much fun is active addiction once the effect has worn thin?
In recovery, we no longer have to be alone. We no longer have to live in fear. There is no reason to isolate ourselves from the rest of the world. We can be free to be who we truly are.
In recovery, we can learn that it doesn’t matter what people think of us. As long as we are taking positive action in our lives, then we are living a successful life.
We no longer have to live under the shroud of darkness that addiction brings with it. We are free to live honestly and openly. We can make real connections again. Most importantly, we can begin to forgive and love ourselves for the good people we really are. We were sick. Now we are well, and we can use that transformation to help others.
Attraction Rather Than Promotion
In recovery, we have been given the greatest gift of all: the gift of our life back. Our old lives had been disfigured by addiction. The gift of a new life beyond what we once thought possible.
Don’t waste this gift. Don’t waste all your hard work. Enjoy your new life and everything it has to offer. Live the positive life you deserve. Then you can not only light your own path, but you can light the path for others.
Active addiction can take you down to the deepest, darkest reaches of your mind. Luckily, recovery can help lift you out into a world you never thought possible. Does recovery guarantee you all the material wishes and relationship repairs you want? Probably not. However, it can help you break free of the substances that held you captive for a very long time. Recovery can help reframe your mindset from a toxic, destructive wasteland to one that is ready to face the world in a healthy and positive light. Utilizing a 12-Step recovery program is one of the most effective ways to help make this happen. For more information, please contact Spero Recovery Center at (303) 351-7888.