Life can be chaotic even without substance use, let’s just be honest about it. When we add substance abuse, as well as the reasons that we drink or do drugs, our lives can just feel like a disaster inside and out, despite our best attempts at keeping ourselves together. It can seem like peace is impossible to find. However, it does not need to be impossible. We can find peace in our own recovery, even amidst all the turmoil.
Looking within Ourselves
Sometimes we spend so much of our lives looking for peace from the outside, we can neglect the true source of peace, which is within us. Sometimes, what is inside of us hurts so much, we intentionally look to outside sources for anything that will stop the pain, or at least distract us from it for a while. Often, this is how we begin our substance abuse. That is never the way to peace, though.
When we search inside ourselves, we can find the reasons why we turned to substance use in the first place and then address those directly. There are so many different reasons that we may have started drinking or using drugs, including past trauma, loss, a co-occurring mental health condition, and more. Identifying our own personal “eye of the storm” and neutralizing it can help us gain more peace in our lives.
Accepting Who We Are
Peace can also come through acceptance. The storms of guilt, shame, blame and many more only serve to create more emotional chaos within us. When there is chaos within is, we create and are drawn to the chaos outside of us. If we do not accept who we are and harbor guilt and shame, we will also attract those things from the outside.
Accepting who we are is the willingness to look ourselves in the mirror and accept ourselves as-is, at that moment, and shove aside the voices of guilt and shame. We can accept who we are without adding on the negative self-talk, the internal or external shame. Who we are, right here, right now, as-is. When we are okay with ourselves in the mirror, then we can calmly make choices about what we want to change.
Loving Ourselves Enough to Change
While in the midst of substance abuse, we do more self-loathing than self-loving. Part of entering into recovery is learning to love ourselves. We don’t have to love our negative behaviors, just love ourselves enough to realize that we can change our behaviors. Truly practicing self-love is a big part of finding peace.
Ways to Find Peace in Recovery
There are also specific tools we can use to find peace in recovery:
• Mindfulness and Meditation – Mindfulness is the state of mind in which we are present and in the moment and also accepting without judgment of whatever is in that moment. There are many types of meditation, however, mindfulness meditation involves using meditation techniques of clearing our minds to then reach a state of mindfulness. Together, they help us to physically and mentally achieve a peaceful state and help us to know how to access it more and more often the more we practice.
• Yoga – the art of breathing and meditation combined with simple physical poses called Yoga is now widely used for both exercise and relaxation. Yoga originated as part of spiritual discipline, however, it has become a non-denominational tool for people to clear their minds and bodies and help find peace and focus.
• Time for Ourselves – One of the reasons peace is so elusive is that when we live in crisis, we forget to stay grounded, to make sure that our needs are being met. Taking time for ourselves on a daily basis, even if it is just 15 minutes, helps us to stay centered and gives us more peace so that we have more to give to the world.
Keeping the Peace
We have all had peaceful moments. Times when we were relaxed, content, and just at peace. Too often, when we have substance use, those moments are fleeting or non-existent. As we seek treatment and start our recovery journey, we can re-connect with the peace that is within us. We can have more of these moments, which can transform not only our lives but who we are. Because when the storms die down, we can see more clearly and do so much more.
The real trick is in not just finding, but also keeping that peace. It is too easy to let the storms creep back in, even if we are sober. When we develop good habits of self-care, including regular mindfulness meditation, yoga, and taking time for ourselves, then we can keep the storms of crisis at bay. The more we practice our recovery, the more peace we have.
Living with substance use can feel like we are constantly in the eye of the storm. That we are perpetually in crisis, relentless waves of pain and chaos, and there is not even one moment of peace. You don’t have to live like that anymore. Find your recovery, find your peace. You can love and accept yourself. You can find tools to help you keep the storms at bay, even when life itself gets stormy. Make the call today to help you unleash healing peace in your life.
Find the peace that only recovery can bring you. Call AToN Center at (888) 535-1516