We are survivors of our experiences and, most importantly, our thoughts about those experiences. As children, we begin our thought lives based on how we are expected to respond and how we see others react to situations. Growing up in environments of dysfunction, trauma, and addiction can lead us to have thoughts with a lack of logic and rationality.
As we approach surviving in these environments, we discover the use of alcohol or other substances to help us cope with our faulty reasoning. As a result, our thought distortions persist, and we continue to believe we need alcohol or other substances to survive.
What Are Automatic Thoughts About Recovery?
Automatic thoughts are often irrational and affected by our experiences and addictions. Examples of automatic thoughts include self-doubt, comparison, feelings of loneliness, and flawed expectations. We can overcome these thoughts with mindfulness and attention.
First, we must identify the thoughts and begin challenging them. Evidence shows challenging automatic thoughts through mindfulness is the best method to achieving strong mental health. Identifying these automatic thoughts is our first step in challenging our addictions and moving into recovery.
How Self-Doubt Appears in Our Automatic Thoughts
Self-doubt is one of our biggest obstacles in recovery. Others in our lives may have told us that we will never achieve our goals – and our goal of recovery seems impossible when we listen to these lies. The first part of recovery begins with a belief in capability. You can recover. Recovery can be challenging, but it is manageable, and you are not alone in your pursuit. A better life awaits you.
You may experience self-doubt because of rejections in your life. You may feel as if you are unable to achieve anything when you have lost a job or been rejected by loved ones. Rejection does not define you, nor does doubt.
You can conquer self-doubt by challenging your automatic thoughts of “I can’t.” Begin by identifying what you can accomplish. Sometimes, just making your bed can make you feel accomplished. Start small and finish big. Recovery can be like a marathon, but you can do it — just one step at a time. Your first step begins with asking for help and believing you deserve recovery.
How Comparison Can Affect Your Recovery
Comparison can be a good thing when you focus on how you can better yourself and are looking for examples to live by. However, comparison can be fatal when used as a means of self-deprecation. You are a unique creation with your own unique gifts and talents. You were not made to be like anybody else. Your success will appear differently than the success of others.
Comparison can often lead to feelings of inadequacy and inferiority. When you compare yourself to those you idolize, you may only see their accomplishments. As you engage in comparison, you must understand how the people you are admiring have also overcome struggles. These people did not achieve remarkable things without work. Understanding this will enable you to focus on your own achievements and recognize your ability to overcome struggles.
Loneliness Can Lead to Relapse
One critical aspect of recovery is the fact that you cannot recover on your own. Believing you are alone is the possible beginning of a downward spiral. However, feelings of loneliness can be overcome when you seek out others and ask for help.
An automatic belief that no one loves you or wants to spend time with you is a lie. Seek out a meeting and ask for help. Fighting feelings of loneliness will aid your recovery and ensure your success.
Ending the cycle of addiction to alcohol or other substances can seem overwhelming. You may instantly believe recovery is impossible. You may think you will never be able to cope with your emotions without using alcohol or other substances. Life may seem impossible.
These are all automatic thoughts blocking your hope of recovery. Believing recovery is impossible leads to feelings of despair and hopelessness. These emotions will not aid your recovery. Instead, anxiety and discouragement can lead to further use of alcohol or other substances, creating a chasm between yourself and healing. You must find a source of hope, and if you cannot find it within yourself, reach out and ask for help.
Challenging Your Thought Life
Life throws a myriad of triggers at us with every passing day. Facing each trigger and overcoming that trigger successfully requires us to challenge our thought life.
Challenging your thoughts begins by assessing the situation and examining truths and lies. What is really happening? What are you thinking in response? As you accurately assess the situation and your automatic thoughts, you can evaluate your emotional reaction and decide if your response is rational or distorted.
Facing the facts and assessing your emotional response allows you to make better decisions, reducing the possibility of relapse. Challenging your automatic thoughts can make recovery easier and more successful.
Challenging automatic thoughts can be one of the most challenging aspects of beginning recovery and continuing the process. Challenging these thoughts takes time and help from others, be they friends and family, a sponsor, or professionals. Undergoing cognitive therapy can also help you learn how to overcome automatic thoughts. At Renaissance Ranch, we know you can overcome the struggle of addiction to alcohol or other substances. We believe you can overcome all things. We offer a clinically driven and gospel-centered approach to treating addictive behaviors. Renaissance Ranch also provides clinically proven and evidence-based practices utilizing multiple treatment modalities. We know you are not alone and are standing by to take your call to help you begin the life you want and deserve. Begin challenging your thoughts by contacting us today. Reach out to Renaissance Ranch at (801) 308-8898 and learn how we can help you overcome addiction to alcohol or other substances.