Stumbling blocks to recovery are things that are stopping us from getting to our full potential in our recovery. That can be a difficult place to be because at the end of the day we really want to find that peace, freedom and everything that recovery offers so that we’re able to carry on and keep moving. Often we can get back to wanting to fix our short term feelings and emotions which can be really difficult when they come up. In acknowledging this and working on it, then we can really help ourselves in recovery, succeeding and moving forward. As long as we’re always moving forward, we’re always doing good for ourselves. Yet while there’s always work to be done, this is not really getting to a finish line.
One of the stumbling blocks that we can look out for and work on overcoming is the tendancy to blame others. Many of us have probably spent a lot of time blaming other people for our addiction or for certain aspects of life and always feeling we’ve been done wrong. Not really connecting with either our own part of things or just not really wanting to take responsibility. The first step out of that is just to have a look and maybe try to take ownership and see how maybe we’ve affected some situation or how we did maybe play a part in certain situations. When we’re always blaming others we never really take ownership or really find freedom or peace, because we’re always giving our energy away. We have to look at ourselves, we can take responsibility, then we can do something about it.
Another block to recovery is isolating and this is the one that affects the most addicts & alcoholics. Once we come in to either rehab, or just recovery in general, we have really started to spend a lot of time on our own, in our own head, whether it be using, whether it be drinking, whether it be gambling. It doesn’t really matter what it is, but we’re all just trying to escape reality and the feelings and emotions that come with that and that is very much easier done alone than in a room full of people. We can also feel isolated in a room full of people, really disconnected from the world, and isolation can block us off from recovery.
Some things that we can do towards emerging from isolation is to get involved in the community. Making it to meetings, speaking to our sponsor or counselor, making new friends with like-minded people who understand what we’ve been through, etc. In these ways, we can build up that connection and thus, we never need to be alone again. The tendancy to isolate needs really be worked on regularly and it is beneficial to do so.
Another stumbling block to recovery could be rigid thinking or a negative attitude, which can be very dangerous. One thing that we really need in recovery is an open mind and when we’ve got an open mind, we can see things from a different perspective. When we free ourselves of negative thinking, we can then start to see good in the world.
A couple of tools to help us with that would be doing a gratitude list, seeking an outside or other point of view, asking people how they see certain situations rather that just how we see it. As we’ve often spent a lot of our life believing that our way is the correct way, we have to quickly realize that maybe it isn’t. Maybe there is a different way to look at things. Once we can start to turn negative thinking into positive, and there’s usually always a positive in any situation once we can see it from a different perspective, then we can find that much sought after freedom and peace within ourselves.