Those less familiar with recovery may be surprised to find out how commonly self-deprecation and addiction coexist. Addiction creates a cycle in which we behave in ways that cause us shame and then use to cover up that shame. Over and over we resolve to do better, but repeatedly fall short.
Perhaps to a lesser extreme, everyone can relate to this cycle. New Year’s rolls around and the talk turns to resolutions. Lose weight, drink less caffeine, quit smoking. We see an area in which we are falling short and through an act of willpower plan to change this engrained part of ourselves. But does it work? According the U.S. News, 80% of New Year’s resolutions have failed by February 1.
Resolution is defined as a firm decision to do or not do something 2. Addicts and normies alike can probably agree that a decision based on guilt and willpower alone is seldom enough to bring about lasting change. This New Year’s, let’s trade out the tried-and-false idea of resolutions and consider a personal revolution instead. Revolutions are marked by a complete and dramatic change in thinking and action. They involve recognizing and replacing a system that is broken for something new, fresh, and entirely different.
Recovery involves a revolution of the spirit. To break free, in dramatic fashion, from the cycle of shame and self-hatred required to feed the addiction. In its place, we instill fellowship, hope, and estimable actions. We refuse to continue the internal narrative that we are failures, hopeless, or unworthy.
In this New Year, let’s do away with guilt-driven resolutions. Instead, consider where in your life your thinking or behavior needs a revolution. Have you been thinking of yourself in an outdated, unhelpful way for years now? Have you placed limits on your capabilities by the way you talk to yourself? Overthrow the committee in your head that’s holding you back from being yourself. Start a revolution.