Initially the first stage to go through is coming to terms with the fact that we have a problem and to begin to acknowledge what that problem might be and what the triggers and obstacles are.
We might recognise that we have issues with, for example, relationships, self-harm or depression and we can begin to take stock of how these negative experiences, coping strategies and feelings are impacting our lives.
The second stage that so many people go through (and is probably the most frustrating) is recognising that you are not always feeling motivated to do anything about it or worse still, not being really sure what to do to change things.
That can be a tricky phase so it is a good time to get yourself resourced – books are amazing, listen to different podcasts, seek out YouTube videos where people are talking about the issues that you are dealing with and get a sense of what it is you are wanting to work on.
The next phase is so often corrupted by that critical voice. If you have got a strong critical voice and a low sense of self-worth then this is when it really comes to fruition.
It is at this point when we start to begin trying to make changes and find that it is difficult as that critical voice always comes in and uses it as an opportunity to attack us, to make us feel less than and to convince us that things are never going to be any different. It is really important to hold your nerve and have a bit of faith in yourself that things can change even when it doesn’t feel like it can. Honesty, a lot of it does take persistence and time. We do need time to heal and things aren’t going to happen over night.
What you will begin to notice in the next stage of recovery is small shifts beginning to happen. Once you get a feeling of this, it gives you confidence and allows you to take these next steps forward.
One of the things many people do in early recovery is to set themselves such tall tasks and have such high expectations for what they are able to achieve. Inevitably, they find they are not able to meet those expectations and it just makes them feel like they have failed.
Set manageable goals – you can always build up to things and can always shift/change your focus as your recovery progresses and you feel more confident. Don’t expect that from yourself from day one though, it’s just going to make you feel bad.
Having a few victories behind you really helps with your confidence and it helps you take on some of those bigger tasks and then achieve them. Once you start manifesting that change in your life, it gives you that boost to really embrace recovery and commit to it as a whole way of living.
That sense of “how do I know when I am healed” is the point when you are not thinking about it so much anymore.
It’s when your choices and behaviours are really being led by a nurturing and compassionate internal voice and that you are intuitively listening to and living by it.
Following your intuition and trusting yourself to make choices doesn’t mean that we never face sad days, anxious moments or fear, it just means we are not being dictated by those emotions and we are not being led by them.
The biggest hurdle anybody embracing a new change or trying to walk a path of recovery has to overcome is finding that bit of belief that they are able to do it. If you nurture that then anything really is possible.
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