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How Do I Practice Forgiveness in Recovery?

When we are young, we are taught about the importance of saying sorry when we do wrong or when we hurt someone else. We know that making amends for mistakes and trying to do better is an important part of restoring and maintaining healthy relationships. However, perhaps there is often not enough discussion about forgiveness and the role it plays in our own health and well-being. Forgiveness in recovery is especially necessary, as it can help with the process of healing and moving on. 

Nevertheless, you may be wondering, “Do I have to forgive everybody?” or, “Will holding grudges keep me stuck in my old ways?” The answer is not necessarily. Yet, it is possible to forgive someone without reconciling with them or allowing them to be a part of your life again. 

In fact, forgiving someone for the hurt that they have caused you can be empowering because it means that they don’t have control over you anymore. This can be a very difficult thing to do, but working with a therapist can help. At Sage Recovery, we can help you to begin reaping the rewards of forgiveness today. 

How Can Forgiveness in Recovery Benefit My Health and Well-Being?

If you’ve ever been angry or have felt resentment towards someone, you know how exhausting it can feel. It’s like a mental and physical burden that you carry around with you at all times. In many cases, this resentment is also associated with other complex feelings like disappointment, betrayal, and hurt. While it may stem from the actions of one person, it can affect how you interact with many other people in your life. 

For example, unresolved resentment can make it difficult to open up yourself to new people in your life. Maybe you’re afraid to trust someone new because you don’t want to be let down again. While this might be a natural attempt at self-preservation, it can do more harm than good by keeping you stuck in the past. It’s unfair for you to miss out on what could possibly be great new connections with others because of the mistakes of one person. 

This is why choosing to forgive can be a wonderful service that you can do for yourself, especially in recovery. It can help to reduce stress and alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. Without having to carry around this burden all the time, you’ll likely feel lighter and see your mood improve as well. All of these benefits can make a huge difference as you navigate recovery and strive to make positive, healthy decisions moving forward. 

Additionally, it is important to note that many physical benefits are associated with forgiveness as well. Forgiveness has been associated with a lower risk of heart attack, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and better sleep. It can help help you to live longer. 

Why Is Self Forgiveness in Recovery Important?

Just as forgiving other people is important in recovery, self-forgiveness is also essential. A lot of people who are in recovery from substance misuse hold a lot of guilt and shame over their past mistakes. They may be really on themselves, often beating themselves up over things they said or did while in active addiction. A lot of times, we are our own worst critics and this type of behavior can hold you back from living the life you deserve in recovery. 

So how does a person go about forgiving themselves for things they regret in the past? Start by working towards accepting those mistakes. After all, these mistakes are in the past; thus, there is nothing you can do about them now but try to learn from them as best you can and move on. Similarly, if your actions from the past hurt others, see if there are things that you might be able to do to make amends for those things. 

Working with a therapist is one of the best ways to learn how to practice self-forgiveness and begin to heal. Therapy allows you to see things from an outsider’s perspective and think about them differently. It can also help you to learn how to have more compassion for yourself. At Sage Recovery, we can help you learn how to give yourself grace and stop living in the past. 

How Can I Make Forgiveness More a Part of My Daily Life?

If you want to make forgiveness a bigger part of your day-to-day life, consider spending more time reflecting on things before you react. Make it a habit to put yourself in other people’s shoes and consider why someone may have acted the way they did. This can help to establish more of a sense of empathy towards other people and yourself. 

Some people live stuck in the shadows of guilt, anger, and shame for years due to addiction. They may want to change but don’t see recovery as a realistic possibility for them. In some cases, they may worry that if they do try to get sober, they’ll fail. Because of these concerns, they decide not to even try. If this is your case, you don’t have to live this way anymore. No matter how long you may have been struggling, it is still possible for you to enjoy long-term sobriety. Give our team at Sage Recovery a call at (512) 306-1394 today. A member of our team will be happy to help you take the first step.