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The role of self-recrimination in relapse

March 1, 2017

You've worked so hard for your sobriety. You've come so far from that person you used to be. You've worked the plan, put in the time, and you're actively using your recovery behaviors every day. 

Don't let self-recrimination be the wrench in your works. Don't let it be the bridge to relapse. As someone in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction, you'll find plenty of people who are willing to judge you harshly. Don't be one of them. 

By now you've learned that addiction is a chronic disease that affects the chemicals in your brain. Your susceptibility to your drug of choice was determined before you ever took that first hit or swallowed that first pill. Your genetic makeup, the environment in which you were raised, even the neighborhood in which you live impacts your addiction. These are your risk factors, and they play huge roles in why you became an addict and somebody else who used the same drug didn't. 

As a person in recovery, every day is a new opportunity to shine. It's time to put away those old feelings of doubt and self-recrimination. What's done is done. You've sought help. You've worked hard to achieve sobriety, and you deserve everything good that life has to offer. You may have hurt others or caused damage along the way, but you've done what you can to make amends, or you're actively working toward that goal, and that makes you a valuable human being. 

Nobody, anywhere, is perfect. If you're still beating yourself up over your addiction or allowing others to do so, you're paving the path to relapse. That person you were is not the person you've become. You're better now. You're healthier, stronger, more focused. You've become more than an addict, more than an addiction, and more than a failure.

You're a success story. You made it. You got out. Celebrate everything you've become and who you are today. And when self-doubt and self-recrimination pitch marbles at your feet, don't slip and fall. Instead, use all that you've learned as the broom to sweep them away. 

Then step forward in confidence. Today is a new day. It's your day. Celebrate it.

 

 

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