One of the greatest fears for anyone in recovery is that of judgement. Many of us spent a long time wearing masks or cultivating a persona to keep others from judging us. It can be hard to shake this fear, even in sobriety. We need to fearlessly examine ourselves and allow ourselves to get vulnerable if we are to successfully break down the walls that we have put up around our true selves. This means, however, that we may be opening ourselves up to judgement from others who are unfamiliar with, or who do not understand, addiction or alcoholism. It’s easy to internalize criticism from others. In recovery, we are often in a heightened emotional state and anything we perceive as an insult can cut right to our core. Many of us sought alcohol and drugs because we were so uncomfortable with ourselves internally. Eventually, our self-worth became dependent on external validation. Recovery, however, is about fixing our internal condition so that we can find a sense of peace and serenity within ourselves that aids us in our sobriety. One of the best ways we can bounce back from perceived judgement is by recognizing that it is never personal. Don Miguel Ruiz explains in The Four Agreements, “No, I don’t take it personally. Whatever you think, whatever you feel, I know it is your problem and not my problem. It is the way you see the world. It is nothing personal, because you are dealing with yourself, not with me. Others are going to have their own opinion according to their belief system, so nothing they think about me is really about me, but it is about them.” We can make an effort to see that the vitriol directed as us is a reflection of their own internal condition, and rarely has anything to do with us. As men and women in recovery we have made a decision to divorce our thoughts and actions from selfishness and self-seeking motives, and we must realize that there is selfishness in taking things personally and not recognizing that the criticism directed at us may be symptomatic of the other person’s suffering. If we are confident that we are continually doing the right thing to the best of our ability, there is no reason to take even the most hurtful of insults personally.
Peace and serenity can be a part of your story. You can make the decision to become the person you were always meant to be, free from the constraints of addiction and alcoholism, by seeking help now. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment facility in Orange County, California, offers cutting-edge treatment methodologies and techniques to give you all the tools needed to achieve and maintain lasting sobriety. For more information about treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777