Renaissance Ranch

Battling Negative Thoughts that Hamper Recovery

May 23, 2024

Our thoughts shape our reality. If we think we’re a failure, then we close ourselves off from any evidence to the contrary. We only see our mistakes and shortcomings. Addiction is difficult to beat, and we often have to try many times before we find the right combination of techniques to battle addiction in every circumstance and after every kind of trigger. When we backslide, all we see is that we failed. We call ourselves weak and useless and say we will never succeed. We miss our progress and think it’s all or nothing.

This negative thinking can cause us to give up and give in. Learning to counter negative thoughts is essential to our battle for sobriety.

Battling Negative Thoughts that Hamper Recovery


Trusting Jesus

The first step is recognizing that we aren’t alone. The Lord said, “And if men come unto me, I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.” (Ether 12:27)

Everyone born on this earth has weaknesses. Ours may be a little more visible than others, but no one is perfect. Humility gives us the strength to say we can’t win by our efforts alone. The good news is He never once said we had to do it on our own. He wants us to turn to Him and accept the help only He can give. Addiction isn’t stronger than God.

  • “I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20 KJV)
  • “All things work together for good to them that love God.” (Romans 8:28 KJV)
  • “With God nothing shall be impossible.” (Luke 1:37 KJV)
  • “A new heart … will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26 KJV)
  • “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16 KJV)

When we learn to trust God, we understand He loves us. We may be broken and battered souls, but He loves us despite all we’ve done. He loves us because we are his children. He loves us enough to send Jesus to die on the cross to save us. He wouldn’t do that if we were a lost cause. We are worth saving in the eyes of the Almighty God. Entering a Christian-based rehabilitation center will keep us focused on this truth.

Reframe Negative Thoughts

The next step is to reframe our thoughts. It’s true; we don’t always catch the negative thoughts that drive our actions. Learning to pause and examine our thoughts is a skill like any other, and it’s well worth our time to cultivate. You can counter negative thoughts with logic and faith only when you are conscious of your thoughts. Negative thoughts are wrapped up in statements like this:

  • “I’ve tried everything.” People say this when they’re tired of fighting, but we’ve rarely tried every tool available to us. Instead, we say, “I’m tired today, but I’m not quitting. I’m entering faith-based drug rehab and will learn to let God fight by my side.”
  • “I failed to get sober.” Learning to live sober takes practice. You’re learning new coping techniques and new thought patterns and building new sober relationships. You can reframe this statement like this: “I haven’t learned all I need to be sober, but I’m closer than I was yesterday.”
  • “It’s too hard.” God knows this process isn’t easy, but saying it’s too hard will drive the fight out of us. Instead, say, “It’s hard to get sober, but it’s also hard to live with the consequences of using and drinking. I get to choose my hard, and I choose sobriety because I’m tired of trashing my life.”
  • “I can’t go another day.” Saying you can’t do something guarantees you won’t work hard enough to succeed. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Reframe it like, “Maybe I can’t see making it through a whole day, but I can handle one more minute. I will only focus on this minute. If I focus on my minutes, the day will take care of itself.”

Last Thoughts

Learning to change our thoughts will help us live with deliberate purpose rather than sabotaging our efforts to get healthy. If you’re considering an alcohol or drug treatment center, you’re already moving in a better direction. Learn how to walk with Jesus so you can fight with His strength and not just your own. You can do this.