• Staff Writer

Acceptance in Addiction Recovery


Many people don’t receive the treatment they need in addiction recovery because they are in denial. Denial is what prevents change. No matter how your addiction has influenced your life, denial means you are avoiding feelings of guilt and shame that can come along with acceptance.

Beating addiction is overwhelming. It is a lifelong journey of balance, acceptance, and self-love. Without acceptance, these goals can’t be achieved. Addiction recovery is all about confidence and faith in yourself and the process. Without accepting that you are struggling with addiction, taking action to recover will feel impossible and may actually be so.

What Is Acceptance?

Acceptance is the start of the recovery journey. It begins the moment you not only realize you have a problem with substances but admit it. This could be your rock bottom or not, but it is when you are ready to take a sense of accountability for how your substance use affected your life and the lives of those around you.

Acceptance allows you to grow rather than arguing that your drinking or drug use doesn’t contribute to your problems. When you are in denial, you are stuck repeating the same harmful behavior. Acceptance is somewhat of a light bulb moment. Something clicks within you, and you realize there is something not right. When you can accept that, you can then decide you want to make a change and enact a plan to do just that.

Much like the rest of addiction recovery, acceptance is a journey, not a moment. It may begin with a moment, but it progresses throughout treatment. You will learn how to master acceptance. Through therapy and other methods, this practice allows you to forgive yourself while taking responsibility. Rather than feeling shame or guilt, you accept and move forward.

The Importance of Acceptance in Addiction Recovery

When you learn how to accept challenges, you deal with them rather than avoid them. Research shows that acceptance guides people into facing urges and developing healthy coping mechanisms to handle symptoms of addiction rather than pretending they don’t exist.

Acceptance gives you a sense of freedom and control. Without that, the addiction controls you. When you are honest about your addiction and how it came to be, you can begin to work through the true cause. Although acceptance doesn’t make the recovery process easier, it does make it possible. With acceptance, you can get closer to facing all the aspects of your addiction and healing. Acceptance sets you on the path to:

  • Analyze your life as it is and decide where you want to be

  • Face feelings of blame, guilt, and anger

  • Learn from past mistakes and use those lessons moving forward

  • Absorb knowledge about your addiction and face past trauma

  • Forgive yourself

Acceptance may sound like a simple step, but as the first one, it can be scary. What does it mean to accept you have a problem? It means you can finally move into reality and take control of your life. You can identify the parts of yourself that might need work while focusing on your strengths to help work through them. Remember that accepting you need help is only the first part. Acceptance needs to be carried out through the entire recovery process.

That prolonged acceptance requires you to be easy on yourself. Yes, you need to take accountability, but that doesn’t mean you’re a failure. You need to find a balance between responsibility and forgiveness. If you never forgive yourself, you will be trying to change while blaming yourself and having low self-esteem. Forgiveness and acceptance set you on a path to a calmer and more positive outlook for the rest of your journey.

How to Find Acceptance in Addiction Recovery

Whether you are struggling with acceptance at the start of your journey or throughout, you are a lot closer than you think just by reading this. Being honest with yourself sets you up to find acceptance and go from there.

Mindfulness allows you to take a solid look at your current moment. You can experience life as it is, focused on the present rather than living in the past or worrying about the future. This can prevent you from dwelling on past mistakes or worrying about what’s to come next. As you learn to accept your current state or situation as is, you can decide what to do from there. Living in reality, not in a fantasy or denial, sets you up for greater success.

Your state of mind is a big part of your journey to recovery. You don’t need to understand everything or know everything. You just need to be open to learning and growing. Being confident in yourself and your abilities can seem impossible while you need help, but asking for help shows a lot of strength. You are not incapable. You are taking care of yourself. Getting help from those who may know more than you do shows your willingness to improve.

You are not perfect—no one is. Accepting that you’ve made mistakes is a significant part of recovery. Admitting that you did something wrong, no matter how big or small, or impactful or not, allows you space to heal from the cause and the effects. Acceptance through recovery gives you focus and clarity to take control when you can and release it when you can’t. You don’t need to be perfect to recover. Your journey will have ups and downs and better days and worse days, but the fact that you keep trying is what matters.

Acceptance is a vital part of recovery. Not only is it the first step to getting help, it is an aspect of recovery you will carry with you forever. Learning to accept your addiction, that you need help, and that you are willing to make changes sets you on the right path. Without acceptance, you are fighting reality and living in a state of denial. You don’t need to get down on yourself or view your actions as failures but rather as hurdles you had to jump to get to where you are and where you’re headed. Here at California Care Detox & Treatment, we offer our clients consistent therapies to help them take account of their lives. We have our experts work together with you to develop the right treatment program that fits your needs and goals. Call us at (949) 281-0632 now to get started.

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