Stages of Recovery: From Anger to Accepting Responsibility for Addiction Recovery : Despite the desire to be masters of our own universe, many of us can’t deny the destruction that our addiction causes in our own lives and in the lives of others. When we’re honest, we admit that things can’t go on this way. At the same time, however, we are not sure if we’re willing to do the hard work of trying to change and recover.
The bottom will look different for everyone, but its underlying characteristic is the understanding that things have gotten utterly out of control, and there is no way you can fix them, even if you employed your best efforts. It may take many years for an addict to hit bottom. Jail, detox, or rehab may be the end result.
Realization Of Powerlessness
Though hitting bottom can be tragic, the darkest moment may actually be the realization that you cannot control your addiction or your life. Personal pride is destroyed. But there is also a refreshing sense of authenticity—no more lies. You are beginning to accept the problem and admit there is nothing you can do about it. At this point, the addict may willingly seek outside help.
Anger At Not Being Normal
This phase can enter and reenter at any point in your journey. We see friends and family enjoying the substances and activities that took us to such destruction. Resentment is common. We must give up comparing ourselves to others and recognize our own unique struggles. God has a unique plan and purpose for you, but it may not include the consumption of your addictive substance. For most addicts, abstinence/sobriety is the only solution.
Reconciliation With God
You believe, by faith, that Christ’s death on the cross was sufficient for the forgiveness of your sins in the past and that it is sufficient to give you power over temptation in the future. This faith is all that is required to be truly reconciled to God. It is a gift of grace. All that is required is your belief. It really is that simple.
Willingness To Live In God’s Will And By His Direction
You are feeling a desire to have God in control of your life. Hitting bottom has humbled you and shown you your own inability to live sanely. You know that God’s will and purposes are good, and you desire to live by them, even if it means changing your ways.
Healing And Restoration
You are adapting to life without addictive substances and behaviors. Cravings still come, your character still needs a lot of work, but you feel hopeful—maybe for the first time. Your body, mind, and spirit are healing and strengthening.
Reconciliation With Others, Righting Of Past Wrongs
Though you have reconciled with God, there are many other people you have hurt. It is time to go to them for forgiveness. This is a hard blow to our egos, but we believe that God is guiding us and that he desires us to restore our relationships with others. Some may not be ready to forgive, but we bravely do our best.
Establishment Of New Normal In Recovery
The addict is growing accustomed to living in recovery. Daily life without substance is starting to feel normal. New patterns are being established. We are making strides in character development. Many are finding great joy in studying God’s Word, taking part in Bible studies, and becoming active members at church.
A Desire To Help Others
Gratitude for what God has done inspires a desire to serve others. Our service is not to gain God’s grace or favor. We already have that in Jesus Christ. But because we have been so blessed by restoration, we look for ways to pay it forward. Though we may yet be weak and feel like we have little to give, God will use our most humble efforts for his glory. The best is yet to come.
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