Addicts do not suffer from an addiction to drugs, alcohol, nor behavioural addiction. These are merely symptoms of a life denied of acceptance. What's fundamentally at the root of addiction is a lack or denial of acceptance. In recovery, learning to accept ourselves and our past becomes a pivot, in which growth and vitality begins. It's only in the acceptance of ourselves, that we begin to grow and change.
If that's the case, why do addicts find acceptance so difficult to tackle? Why can't addicts accept themselves? The answer lies in the addiction. In active addiction, addicts put the addiction and other people's needs ahead of their own. You can read more about what's beneath every addiction, in our article on codependency.
The addiction allows them to be at peace with their self-denying lives. It's only in abstinence and recovery, can work be done; to begin the process of self-acceptance. Because, in abstinence, addicts can begin to feel the effect of their dependencies. They will have the power to dig beneath those codependent traits to link with a body of trauma. Childhood and ongoing trauma lies at the very heart of what causes addiction. Read more about this, by clicking here for childhood trauma, and for a look at ongoing trauma, try this link.
With the process of beginning to accept oneself, a new beginning emerges. In it, there are endless opportunities. But, it all begins with recovery and understanding the self. In turn, that process starts in treating the addiction.
Acceptance in Recovery is Not Condoning Addiction.
Many people confuse acceptance with condoning addiction. They ask: If all I need to do is accept, am I not doing that by remaining in active addiction?
Accepting one's addiction is not the same as condoning it. Acceptance means to realise the full truth of what the addiction is. The cost and consequence of using, and honouring a need for change. It envelops a full and honest review of the addictive past. And, is a means to move on, out of the problem.
Condoning the addiction is to remain in harmful behaviours that we know are wrong. To condone one's addiction is the exact opposite of accepting it. It is to deny the cost and consequence of the addictive behaviour. It is to allow oneself to be harmed further by continual addictive behaviours. At the end, condoning addiction will result in either a jail-sentence, rehabilitation, or death. It never gets better, but only worse over time.
Hence, the focus of recovery is to accept the self and what it has done. This means to accept the effects of addiction. The addict needs to understand the full-scale of his behaviour to understand the self. It is in this understanding, that the acceptance given toward addiction, becomes self-acceptance.
We begin with understanding our problem and accepting it, as a first-step. Knowing this, we can begin recovering from addiction, weary of its effects on our lives. Recovery thus becomes the bedrock, which we can build our lives anew.
Role of Self-Acceptance
Many addicts would balk at the prospect of unconditional acceptance of the self. There's much resistance to it because it means undermining a lifetime of beliefs. Addicts were taught to believe that they are unworthy people.Addicts learnt that they need to earn other people’s approval rather than readily accept themselves. Confronting these negative belief systems takes time.
In the end, unconditional self-acceptance is necessary for continual recovery. For self-acceptance allows addicts the clarity, wisdom, and courage to live their lives. Self-acceptance combats shame, disapproval, and criticism; be it from the outside or from within. Without this, life in recovery can be unbearable. It will be difficult to live with ourselves. For we will always depend on the approval of others. For some, that may even mean a relapse in their addiction. Do take a look at our article on relapse and addiction. All of this happens because addiction is the result of a life lived in self-denial.
Once treated, a life lived in full acceptance is a necessary remedy for this disease. Self-acceptance allows the addict, the creativity, flexibility, and freedom to grow. It provides them with boundless opportunity for a peaceful and dynamic future.
Acceptance in Addiction Rehab at Solace Sabah
Begin your journey with us, at Solace Sabah. We are a drug and alcohol rehab centre situated in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. We have professional clinicians who have extensive experience to treat addiction.
When you come to us, you will be able to learn more about self-acceptance. You will address issues around who you are. We call these your existential issues. We will examine the masks you've worn all along to hide your true self. For more on the masks we wear, click here. Through CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), you will learn how to challenge the beliefs that have held you back for so long.
We also recommend working the 12-step program. This program will address the steps you need to take to begin the process of self-acceptance. First, you will start by accepting your addiction. Then, you will learn more about yourself through the steps. Finally, you will be able to accept what you like about yourself, and discard the unhelpful parts of your past. We wish you well in your journey of self-discovery. Call us for more information. We're always happy to help you.