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Understanding the Acceptance Stage of Recovery

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Acceptance is an essential component of recovery, so much so that there is a specific statement dedicated to acceptance in 12-Step recovery. The statement begins, “Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation – some fact of my life – unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.” Of course, the acceptance stage of recovery also takes a lot of hard work and dedication.

The First Step of Acceptance

There are three “As” when it comes to starting the recovery journey: “acceptance, acknowledgment, and action.” There is a reason that acceptance comes first in this sequence.

Acceptance is all about a willingness to finally surrender that there is a problem. Now, there is actually a paradox in acceptance in recovery that stops many people from taking this crucial step. The paradox is that we must “give up to gain strength.” We must admit and accept that alcohol and/or drugs have taken over our lives, and the only way to get away from this reality is to humble ourselves and enter the acceptance stage of recovery.

Understanding the Acceptance Stage of Recovery

Acceptance must be a part of anyone’s recovery journey. This is whether the individual chooses to take a 12-Step route or not. However, the first of the Twelve Steps does make the importance of acceptance quite clear.

The First Step of 12-Step recovery reads, “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol [and/or other substances] – that our lives had become unmanageable.” It is this willingness to accept “powerlessness” that is the foundation of the acceptance stage of recovery. This acceptance stage is also crucial because it is the gateway to other essential steps we must take.

From the Acceptance Stage to Acknowledging the Need for Help

After we accept that there is a problem, we must then acknowledge the need for help. Recovery should always be a We program, never a Me program. The primary 12-Step text, often referred to as the “Big Book” makes this very clear.

The “Big Book” states, “Practical experience shows that nothing will so much ensure immunity from drinking [and/or using] as intensive work with other [people in recovery]. It works when other activities fail… You can help when no one else can.” This can only happen when we acknowledge that we need help.

Acceptance and acknowledgment of the need for help are also essential steps to take toward getting the right treatment that we need. The good news is that many effective recovery and treatment centers like Lantana Recovery are ready and willing to help as soon as an individual is ready and willing to reach out. Of course, the work does not stop there. Then comes the time to take action and recover.

After the Acceptance Stage Must Come Action

There should be no doubt that recovery takes a lot of effort. After all, recovery is often quite literally a life-or-death prospect.

The good news is that once a foundation of acceptance and acknowledgment has been laid down, the action steps become much more accessible and accomplishable. These steps include working with a therapist or psychotherapist, entering group therapy, connecting with a recovery community, and taking care of ourselves nutritionally and physically.

Taking action also means eventually helping other people who are new to recovery. The world of recovery is cyclical, and it also involves another paradox that goes, “You must give it away to keep it.” Once somebody else has gone through the stage of acceptance, we must be ready to give back and help them with the other stages.

Acceptance Is the Answer With Lantana Recovery

There is more to the acceptance statement than what was quoted earlier in this blog. It concludes, “Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s [or a Higher Power of one’s understanding] world by mistake. Until I could accept my [alcohol and/or substance use disorder], I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and my attitudes.”

Here at Lantana Recovery, we believe that acceptance can be the initial answer to one’s issues of addiction. We believe this because we have seen countless people “surrender” and subsequently recover and live lives beyond their wildest dreams.

Recovery is a journey, never a destination. To be successful, that journey must begin with a state of acceptance. After that, the rest will soon fall into place.

There is an empowering and humbling statement that is often read in 12-step meetings known as the “Acceptance Statement.” It discusses how “acceptance is the answer to all of [our] problems today.” One must attain and maintain a crucial state of acceptance for treatment and recovery to be wholly effective (especially if long-term recovery is the goal). If you feel like you or a loved one are struggling with issues of addiction, mental illness, or comorbidities of both, we can help get you on the positive path to long-term recovery right away. For more information about the importance of acceptance for a successful recovery, please reach out to Lantana Recovery today at (866) 997-2870.

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Charleston South Carolina

Charleston South Carolina

Located on the historic peninsula of Charleston, South Carolina, Lantana Recovery takes a modern approach to Substance Use Disorder treatment, offering intensive clinical care while also immersing our clients in local Charleston culture.