The journey through recovery teaches people which healthy practices to take along and which unhealthy practices to leave behind. However, these “practices,” both ones to take and ones to leave, aren’t always that obvious. They generally aren’t always as clear as taking up a weekly session with a trusted accountability partner or leaving behind the substance that gripped you with addiction, abuse, or unbearable memories.
Sometimes, these practices are as simple as the lingo you speak to yourself. The words that you choose to shape your narrative and the tone they convey. Words might seem petty in comparison to more “bold” practices in the addiction recovery world, but as much as we want to believe that “sticks and stones may break [your] bones, but words will never hurt [you],” that’s just not true.
Words have value. Words hold power. How we speak to ourselves shapes how we see ourselves. How we see ourselves impacts how we see others. How we see others reflects how we treat others. How we treat others shapes how we view the entire world. So words hold a weight all their own.
Here are some examples of the lingo that you should leave behind after recovery as you reintegrate into a new, healthy lifestyle:
“Everyone Will Always See Me As Who I Used To Be.”
This is a typical thought most people host when they’ve messed up greatly, and others know the skeletons in their closet. However, you can’t assume that your people, your family, your community, and your church are as vicious and unforgiving as our political world.
Just as you hope others are willing to give you a chance to prove yourself new, healthy, and whole, you must extend that same grace to others, giving them a chance to prove themselves supportive.
It’s also important to note that self-worth radiates, and others will see that in you. If you wear self-worth with a healthy dose of humble pride, others will naturally respond by matching the respect you have for yourself.
How do you tap into this sort of self-respect? You see yourself for how far you’ve come and how far you’re going to go. You keep your headspace set on working through the present to better the future and leave the past behind you. Is this always easy? No. It’ll take practice. But put in the work because this one’s worth it.
“I Wasted Too Much Time and Will Never Catch Up.”
It’s true that drug addiction isn’t a healthy way to spend time, and sure, it’s possible that you gave years of your life to substance abuse. This is when most people would tell you that “it’s not too late,” and they are right — but it’s important that you first grieve the time you lost.
Grief is necessary for the healing process. You’re allowed to mourn what you lost. However, grief and mourning are avenues to healing, which means grief and mourning aren’t where you stop, where you stay, or where you pitch your tent for good.
Once you’ve respected the time that was lost, it’s time to value the time you still have. Time is a beautiful, precious commodity that’s outside of human control. In other words, if you’ve got time, it’s a God-given gift. If time is a God-given gift, then time is something that’s not within your power to label as “too wasted… and something I’m unable to catch up with.”
Time is meant to be invested in creating value in yourself, in others, and in your community; it’s not meant to be used as a lifeless cycle of regret and shame. So, honor yourself by honoring your time — because it’s never too late to catch up on such a precious gift.
Speaking to Yourself Now
Throughout your recovery classes, you’ve likely gained solid insight into how to perceive yourself through the healing process. You’ve likely been taught which words to speak to yourself and how to speak to peers in recovery. These tools are powerful. However, only you have the ability to plug them in and flip on the switch.
Activation is solely on you, and it’s vital to remind yourself of who you are in the present and who you are striving to be in the future, rather than giving up the gift of time to dwell on who you were.
After all of the hard work that you’ve committed to, it’s time to be proud of yourself and find worth in what you can give to others, both today and tomorrow.
It is important to make sure that you see value in who you are today and who you will be tomorrow. It’s time for the past to stop defining you. Shame and regret no longer hold a place in your life. You put in all the hard work and took all the necessary steps to make recovery such a vital priority in your journey. Here at Renaissance Ranch, we celebrate with you. Meanwhile, we know it is crucial for you to take what you learn in classes and programs and implement those elements into your reintegration process. It is important that you remember how to speak to yourself and live with self-worth and true respect for time and others. With programs ranging from alumni retreats to family recovery treatment, you are sure to find the support that suits your individual needs at Renaissance Ranch. For more information, call us today at (801) 308-8898.