What Does Acceptance in Addiction Recovery Mean?

October 25, 2017 Misti Kuykendall

Acceptance in recovery from addiction helps free you from the attempt to control things and people you can't control. Acceptance is key to recovery. Learn why.Acceptance in addiction recovery means you learn to accept the things you can’t change and focus on the things you can. Trying to change other people, living in the past, wishing things were different, and stressing over failed plans are the things that keep us stuck and cause great turmoil in our minds. I wasted an embarrassing amount of energy on things I was powerless over during my active addiction. I was so consumed by things I could not control, that I lost focus on the ones I could. Not knowing or misunderstanding acceptance in addiction recovery set me up to continually strive against the universe.

What Is Acceptance, During Addiction Recovery in Particular?

Acceptance in addiction recovery is about accepting things outside of our control as they are. Accepting things out of our control does not mean we agree with or condone what's happening, it means we are at peace with what life has given us.

Acceptance in addiction recovery doesn’t mean we lay down and let life just happen to us either. It means we take responsibility to change those things that are within our power to change. Acceptance is not weak, it just means looking at life through a positive lens instead of a negative, woe is me, lens. I may not be able to change how a person is treating me, but I can always choose my attitude and response. Most of the time I can choose whether or not I wish to continue my relationship with him or her.

When we focus our minds on things we can’t control, we give those things power. All the struggling is in vain. The best way I like to think of it is a tug-of-war game. You have two people pulling on a rope. What happens to the other player if one let go? The other player will fall on their butt. By letting go and accepting life as it comes to us, we regain our power.

What Acceptance in Addiction Recovery Has Taught Me

Acceptance in addiction recovery taught me that I can’t change people. I accept the hand life deals to me and I play it the best I can. I will not fold my hand. I accept the people I choose to have in my life as they are. I accept change and I’m at peace when things don’t go the way I planned. Most importantly, I accept myself as I am, stringy, flat hair and all. I do not wish to be anything or anyone else.

Choosing acceptance in recovery from addiction also helps me accept that it is not safe for me to have an occasional drink. I accept the past and keep it there, in the past. I don’t spend any more time looking in the rearview mirror of my life. I can see much more out of the windshield.

I ask for help accepting the things I cannot change, changing the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

APA Reference
Kuykendall, M. (2017, October 25). What Does Acceptance in Addiction Recovery Mean?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 23 from

Author: Misti Kuykendall

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