You can’t completely talk about addiction recovery without forgiveness. For those just starting out their recovery journey, you need forgiveness for addiction recovery. Often, addiction is a result of bottling up hurt and anger. Most addicts indulge in substance use as a means to ease the pain or to temporarily forget trauma.
Furthermore, choosing to hold unto the trauma may hinder the process of addiction recovery. Un-forgiveness inflicts more pain on the addicts.
Knowing the importance of forgiveness in addiction recovery can help dig out the root of bitterness. Therefore, forgetting the pain and recovering becomes easier.
This article discusses the place of forgiveness in the life of addicts. It emphasizes on why forgiveness matters for addiction recovery. Also, it gives a detailed explanation of the concept of forgiveness.
Additionally, in this article, we will provide strategies to help you forgive during addiction treatment. Essentially, this article has everything you need in your addiction recovery journey (where forgiveness is concerned).
What is the Concept of Forgiveness
While many know the word ‘forgiveness’, most are unaware of its true meaning. You may wonder what exactly it means and why forgiveness matters for addiction recovery.
In simple terms, forgiveness means letting go — to stop feeling angry or hurt. Letting go of what exactly? Substance abuse often stems from anger or bitterness. In some cases, it may be a result of emotional abuse, neglect, or trauma. The addict starts by wanting to numb the pain with the use of the substance.
Then, the occasional use of that substance becomes an everyday use. Subsequently, the addict depends on the substance so much that they can’t completely do without it.
You may want to ask, “Does forgiving mean forgetting?” Our answer is no. forgiving doesn’t mean you’d forget. Most times after forgiving, the pain still lingers. You may not get to see the person who has hurt you. But, because your memory is active, you will remember.
Forgiveness for addiction recovery means, you choose to let go for the sake of your mental health. When you forgive, the person and the situation has less control over you and your emotions.
If you are finding it difficult to forgive, you may have to do it with professional addiction recovery services. At an addiction treatment centre near you, a professional therapist will help you work through this kind of emotional issue.
Related article: Gardening Therapy for Addiction Recovery
Why Forgiveness Matters for Addiction Recovery
While recovering from an addiction, there is a place for forgiveness. It is an important aspect of addiction recovery you can’t completely do away with. Getting sober won’t put an end to the pain and trauma.
In addition to this, it is not unusual to see addicts relapse after rehab. Why? Because they think sobriety is the solution to their addiction when in fact, forgiveness and letting go are critical components.
To break the recovery and relapse cycle completely, you may need to let go of this emotional baggage. Here’s why forgiveness is important for addiction recovery:
It restores broken relationships
Forgiveness during addiction recovery restores broken relationships. Addiction severs many relationships. Most times, family and friends choose not to identify with the addict. Some reasons may be due to the addict constantly getting in trouble or their extravagant nature.
Romantic relationships too aren’t left out. Most addicts act under the influence of the substance making them very emotionally unstable. Partners often get the brunt of their actions and consequently, they opt-out of the relationship.
Also, addiction can be as a result of trauma and abuse. You can choose to forgive your abusers. You may eventually realize that they were oblivious to the impact of their actions on you.
If seeing them triggers the anger or hurt, avoid seeing them. But consciously choose to let go of the resentment. When you are emotionally able to handle their presence, work on restoring the relationship.
Call friends that left you during your addiction phase. Let them know you understand and feel no anger towards them. This helps you feel better about the recovery process you’re in.
You’re doing it for you
Another importance of forgiveness in addiction recovery is that it helps you. Sometimes forgiving someone doesn’t necessarily mean that you repair the relationship with them. If getting back with the person will cost you your peace of mind, leave the relationship as it is.
Forgiveness in addiction recovery helps your mental health. It offers you an avenue to start afresh. Learning to forgive yourself is the first step to addiction recovery. You can be deliberate about forgiving and focus that energy on better things.
Although remorse is good, it isn’t enough to help you recover. Punishing yourself further because you think you deserve it won’t do you any good. Other than wallow in self-pity, pick yourself up, forgive yourself and move on.
In addition to this, forgiveness in addiction recovery often helps you build your self-esteem. You begin to feel more confident about your abilities. Forgiving yourself helps you believe that your tomorrow will be better. This mindset can boost your addiction recovery process.
Choosing to stay angry hurts you even more
Un-forgiveness doesn’t just worsen your addition, it affects your health. Depression, high blood pressure, paranoia, and panic attacks, can stem from unforgiveness and unresolved emotional issues. Choosing to cling to resentments can further affect your addiction recovery.
When you stay angry, you focus on the hurt and the pain. So much so that it will cloud your judgement. It stops you from seeing the world in a positive light. It fills you with much hate and negativity.
Also, when you focus on the hurt, you continue to victimize yourself. You are empowering whoever has hurt you more. In addition, when you decide to stay angry, you unknowingly hurt others in the process. Forgiveness for addiction recovery does more good than harm to the addict.
Addiction recovery services don’t just help you become sober, they also help you get rid of anger. Because we are aware of how much damage anger can do to the addict, we emphasize forgiveness for addiction recovery.
Strategies to Help You Forgive During Addiction Treatment
The process of forgiveness can take a lot from the person who is hurting. Often, the drive to stay angry consumes us. Here are some tips for forgiveness in addiction recovery.
- Be deliberate about forgiving yourself and your abusers.
- Stop empowering others by remaining a victim.
- Recognize forgiveness matters for addiction recovery and utilize it.
- Don’t bottle up your feelings. Speak to someone. Seek professional treatment.
- Don’t take out your hurt on innocent people.
To Sum It Up
We agree that forgiving isn’t always easy. It becomes even more difficult if you try to rush yourself. Understand that forgiveness for addiction recovery is a process. Take it a step at a time.
In this article, we discuss the concept of forgiveness and the reasons forgiveness matters for addiction recovery. But this is just one part of the addiction treatment process. It’s not a replacement for professional addiction treatment.
Still, wondering where to get the best addiction treatment services in Toronto? Addiction Rehab Toronto offers the best addiction recovery services. Check out our addiction recovery treatment services for residents in Toronto.
Related article: How to Overcome Common Challenges During Drug Addiction Recovery