If you are in recovery, ask yourself: “Have I accepted full responsibility for my own personal growth?”
Is it possible that you are just going through the motions, expecting to be protected from relapse because you are “working a program?”
This is not good enough and if you really want protection from complacency in long term recovery then you have to take continuous action. We have to be especially careful of the possibility of reverting to a victim mindset. For example, if you start having thoughts like “Well, there’s nothing I can do about this,” or “This kind of thing always happens to me.” A lot of times that type of attitude is simply an excuse not to grow.
When we slip into this victim mindset, it is a lowering of consciousness. The possibility of growth and learning is diminished. We are taking an opportunity for growth and deciding instead just to complain about things.
For example, I have a friend in recovery who has slipped up several times in recovery and has just never really “got it.” He is always using the victim mindset and cannot seem to recognize when he is sabotaging himself with it. What it is actually happening is a shunning of responsibility. It takes conscious choice in order to choose growth over complaining and inaction.
Growth is our responsibility. Progress is not handed to us just because we are “working a program” or attending meetings every day. This requires action. And it requires a commitment on our part to push ourselves to grow. If we choose to do otherwise then we cannot blame others for our eventual relapse. Personal growth is our responsibility.
Action items – what you can do:
1) Raise self-awareness – in order to quickly shut down any victim mindsets. Don’t allow yourself to rationalize laziness or inaction because of external circumstances. You are still responsible for taking action and making progress in your recovery.
2) Look for the lesson – when bad things happen. It’s all in your attitude. If you can find the silver lining you will stay on a path of growth and be happier to boot.
3) Use gratitude – when victim-thinking creeps in. Stay positive in the face of negative situations and don’t allow yourself the “luxury” of self pity.
Your goal should be to push yourself to improve your life every single day. Do not expect recovery to create an all rosy picture in your life and for things to just go smoothly with no additional work on your part. You have to put in some effort if you want to reap the rewards of recovery. Be responsible, take action!