Acceptance in Recovery
There are a lot of things in life that just have to be accepted for what they are. The ability to deal with the things that are out of our control is known as acceptance. Acceptance in recovery is paramount to the health and happiness of recovering alcoholics and addicts. It allows them to focus on the positive areas of their life where they can be the most helpful.
Acceptance is literally defined as the act of taking or receiving something offered. In human psychology acceptance is used to describe a person’s ability to handle their reality agreeably. Acceptance means to accept the reality of what is happening and not feel the need to alter it in anyway nor protest it.
Acceptance in recovery is important for so many reasons. In order for an addict or alcoholic to find happiness in recovery they must have acceptance. In fact it is so important there is whole paragraph about it in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. It starts off by saying “acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.” Not only have that but AA and NA 12 step fellowships used the serenity prayer. The serenity prayer has one line about “accepting the things we cannot change and having the courage to change the things we can…” Here are some reasons why acceptance in recovery is so vital to the recovering alcoholic and addict:
There are some things in life that the alcoholic and addict will not be able to change. If they refuse to accept those things then it will only lead to suffering for them and suffering can end up causing an alcoholic or addict to relapse.
- It was an attempt to deny, protest, or not accept the reality that caused most alcoholics and addicts to use in the first place. Addiction and alcoholism are great ways of how trying to escape the reality of a situation doesn’t work.
- Addicts and alcoholics are great at using a perceived unfairness or unjustness to go out and get high or drunk. When addicts and alcoholics use acceptance in recovery they will see the world for what it really is and that is that the world is not out to get them.
- The addict and alcoholic can waste a lot of time being angry or trying to change situations that can’t be changed. That is wasted time that could be used to help others which is the primary purpose for most alcoholics and addicts.
- Learning acceptance in recovery also teaches the addict and alcoholic humility. Humility is one of the key spiritual principles in recovery and within 12 step fellowships. Those who are humble usually are happier and face less strife in the world.
Addicts and alcoholics can also through acceptance in recovery cope with anything that is going on in their life without using, regulate strong and intense emotions, live in the present moment, suffer from far less stress which also is a relapse factor, have a positive attitude, and will be able to build deep and meaningful realtionships with other people.
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.”