By: Marilyn L. Davis
“Many times, we are our worst enemy. If we could learn to conquer ourselves, then we will have a much easier time overcoming the obstacles that are in front of us.” ~Stephan Labossiere
What Barriers and Obstacles are Within Me?
A number of self-defeating attitudes, actions, and behaviors will prevent you from being successful in your recovery. We come into recovery with these and often continue to operation from them in our early recovery. But it’s not just early recovery. These barriers and obstacles may also resurface if you become complacent in your recovery or start reverting to old patterns.
You may even state that you want to recover, but still not take advantage of the opportunity because you still believe that you know what to do to recover; you believe it will be too difficult, you do not like people telling you what you need to do, or you are hesitant to discuss personal issues with a stranger.
The reality is that you may have just talked about wanting to recover, but did not apply yourself.
Negative Attitudes and Justifications Create Barriers and Obstacles
- People should not expect you to change so many aspects of yourself.
- No one should not expect you to change so quickly.
- Your employment requires more time than recovery; you can skip meetings
- You’re seeing progress; why isn’t that enough?
- Those other people at meetings are different from you.
- Why can’t you keep your old friends and hang out with them?
- You really know how to recover on your own.
- Some events in addiction were fun; why don’t people understand that?
- Your life “was not so bad.”
- You’ve got reasons when you’re unwilling and close-minded.
- Doing all that inner work is discouraging.
- You keep finding character defects and that depresses you.
- You may think you are going crazy.
Common Barriers and Obstacles Means Someone Has an Answer
Each of these positions can prove harmful to your recovery. You may also realize that you have to quit lying, stop embellishing the facts, or minimizing your shortcomings. When you realize that your self-defeating behaviors are not working, you can get angry, and start arguing that no one understands that you have always been this way and changing old attitudes, actions, and feelings about situations is hard.
These internal barriers and obstacles are very common and predictable. When you find yourself in any of these predictable positions, realize that these thoughts, attitudes, and feelings happen to everyone at some point in their recovery.
One of the most important aspects of the recovery process is that you do not have to have all the answers to your problems. A common statistic is that 1 in 10 Americans are in recovery. That equates to 23 million people who have found solutions and in many cases, are willing to share their suggestions and directions with the rest of us.
Where Can I Find Solutions to my Barriers and Obstacles?
For any other problem, we typically Google our search. For recovery, it’s no different. We can search for:
- Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google Plus communities that offer recovery related posts
- Information on how to recover
- Recovery Support Meetings in our area
- Subscribe to an Addiction and Recovery Blog
- Therapists that specialize in addiction, codependency, or trauma
Part of the problem is most of us are hesitant to discuss our lives with strangers. This is yet another internal barrier to getting better. If we think about how most of us feel if we’re helpful to someone, we get out of our ego and realize that those people helping us when we ask a question, aren’t better than us, or we’re less than them; they are just like us and passing on what was given to them.
When you make changes in your life, it’s your turn to help someone else in overcoming their barriers and obstacles to recovery.
Writing, and recovery heals the heart