It seems odd for someone to not be able to trust their own judgment, but addiction messes with our minds and bodies in a way that can leave us with trust issues, even self-trust issues. Addiction does so much damage to all areas of life. Whether you are addicted to gambling, sleeping pills, alcohol, or meth the addiction itself can change the chemistry of your body and change the way you approach even the simplest of situations. This can be difficult to overcome, but does get easier while in recovery. Part of this change is learning to trust yourself again.
Unfortunately, part of addiction is following your need for that addiction and not trusting your priorities, goals, thoughts, or even gut feelings. Addiction tends to make us act and think impulsively and that is something that needs to be dealt with in recovery. The first step in dealing with this in recovery is to build self-trust.
Starting out in recovery involves taking chances and making life altering decisions. In fact, deciding not to take part in your addiction or addictions is hugely life altering in every sense. This is an incredible undertaking and a journey that will change your life for the better if you allow it to do so. Though you are never done with recovery, you need to start building self-trust immediately. There are a few things you can do to start this process. As you start this journey know that everyone is different and everyone must go at their own pace, the key is to keep moving in the right direction. Read on to learn how to start building self-trust as part of your recovery.
First give yourself a clean slate. This may be the hardest step of all. Recovery means starting a new life, so give yourself one to start. Start where you are at this moment and let the past go. You cannot change what you have done, but you can change your behaviors from this moment on and into your future. There is no point in carrying your baggage into your new life. For some this may mean a whole new set of friends, moving to a new area, finding new employment, and much more. For others it may simply mean a new mind set and strong boundaries to start over in a supportive environment. Remember that you are not your past or your mistakes. You are a person who has existed until this point and one who is now starting fresh. Knowing, understanding, and believing this makes it easier to focus on healing and build self-confidence and self-trust.
Next, build on your successes. Whether you are successful in simply creating a daily routine or in finding great employment, celebrate. This does not have to be an all out party, but share your joy and accomplishments with those who are supportive. It is healthy to be proud of yourself for meeting goals, big and small. Next, set new goals and milestones and keep celebrating as you meet those. Meeting these short term goals will help you reach milestones and those milestones will lead to larger goals. Don’t waste time, start working on these goals immediately.
Do not be afraid to ask for help in meeting these goals when you need it. No one can exist in a vacuum and having a support circle can go a long way when encouragement is needed. Finally, if and when you do make a mistake, do not give up. Everyone messes up from time to time, learn from these mistakes and start over when needed. As you grow you will learn to start trusting yourself and your decision making skills more and more. This will make long term recovery much easier.
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