Recovery is different for everyone, but nearly everyone in recovery struggles with losing control. Although recovery is taking back control of your life without drugs or alcohol, a big part of recovery involves letting go.
In recovery, you learn to adjust to sobriety, manage negative feelings without using substances, and live a meaningful life.
This sounds wonderful, but it is a winding road to get to where you feel like sobriety is involuntary.
What Is Recovery?
The National Institute on Drug Abuse defines addiction recovery as “a process of change through which people improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential.”
Recovery requires working through struggles you may have not even realized were involved in your addiction.
You need to focus on the physical aspect of your addiction, maintaining your health, having a stable home environment, meaningfully participating in life, and socializing with support loved ones.
Recovery gives you some control back after active addiction, but it also teaches how and when to let go of control and give into what life provides.
However, before recovery, your addiction needs to be faced. Control, or lack thereof, is a significant aspect of an addictive personality.
A desire to control your own emotions could be part of what led to substance abuse in the first place. Losing control in recovery starts as soon as you admit you need help.
Knowing that you have lost control and are in active addiction is scary. You have to admit that you are not in control; the addiction is. You have to release even more control to let others help you.
Letting Go of Control in Recovery
Recovery is all about overcoming your hurdles. It is about believing in your ability and strength to cope and ask for help when you need it.
In recovery, you will feel some control return to your life. When you are sober, you have a stronger memory and improved relationships. However, with that newfound awareness comes a desire for control.
You’ll want to control what’s around you. You want the environment to be right for your loved ones to behave the right way. Yet, with that urgency for control comes a lot of frustrations and stress.
When you need control but can’t have it, you might feel lost, frustrated, or overwhelmed. Those emotions can be harmful and even lead to relapse if not dealt with.
However, when you let go of that need for control, especially over the things you don’t have control over, you become freer. You no longer hang onto this need for control but enjoy life at the moment. You can let go of what you can’t control and focus on the things you can do.
When you feel like you need control, you will always feel somewhat out of control. When you finally release that burden, you feel like you have control because you focus on what is within your power.
You can control your own behavior. You can control how you react to others. You can work on coping mechanisms for stress and trauma. You can’t control how people respond to you, your recovery, or your past.
This is a lot easier to imagine than to do. When you are in recovery, you are rebuilding trust in yourself and others, which takes time.
Some methods of releasing your need for control include self-care, meditation, yoga, exercise, and talk therapy. Participating in practices that benefit your mental health and teach you how to control your thoughts or cope with them can help you find balance.
How to Build Trust During Recovery
Realizing that you need to let go of your need for control is not a one-time realization that sends you on the right path for life. It is an ongoing push-and-pull process of trust.
Through recovery, you will learn how to trust yourself and others, and others will learn how to trust you.
However, trusting others means releasing control, another part of recovery that is so important. Having hope and faith is not about just letting things happen. Recovery is about controlling yourself and believing in your ability to do that.
Just like you trust others, you need to trust your own capabilities. Look at your past and your present. Take account of what you’ve accomplished. You’ve gone through drug rehab and treatment. You’re going to support groups, and maybe you’ve found a sponsor or a therapist.
These things are all steps in the right direction. Taking note of them will help you build trust in yourself. Once you trust yourself, you also build your confidence up.
Letting Go Of Control Sound Terrifying
Letting go of control in recovery sounds terrifying as this is likely the time you’ve felt the most in control in a while. When you live with an active addiction, you feel out of control … but getting sober with the help of an addiction center gives you the reigns of your life back. While adjusting to recovery, you may find you overcompensate by trying to control too much. That desire comes from a lack of trust in yourself and your strength to continue.
Getting back in control starts with drug detox. The ideal foundation for successful recovery, allowing harmful substances to leave the body in a controlled environment is the best possible start to recovery. DetoxNearMe.com is the web’s largest directory of reputable detox providers. Finding a detox program near you, for your addictions, and within your budget has never been easier.
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