Compassionate is the ability to have sympathetic pity and concern for the suffering of others. In recovery, compassion is a great motivator for us to seek out and help others who are still suffering from addiction and alcoholism. In fact, most recovery meetings begin with a moment of silence for those who are still sick and suffering. By maintaining our compassion for others, we will be more inclined to act as selflessly as possible and maintain our own sobriety while helping others recover. In active addiction, we often experienced or witnessed great amounts of suffering in ourselves and others. As a result, our ability to feel compassion may have diminished and we feel emotionally numb. Emotional numbness is common in men and women suffering from depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorders, all of which are common in those suffering from addiction. Healthline explains, “There are several ways that emotional numbness can occur. Stress hormones can flood your systems and cause different reactions within the body that can lead to emotional numbness. For example, stress hormones can affect the limbic system. The limbic system is located near the center of your brain and is responsible for your emotions. Stress hormones can also affect other hormones in your body, which in turn can affect your mood. Both effects can cause you to feel numb. In some cases, your body can become so stressed that you become overtaxed emotionally and physically fatigued. That depletion of both emotional and physical energy can create emotional numbness.” As we recover, so too will our ability to feel empathy and compassion. Maintaining our sense of compassion for others can keep us motivated to continue working with others and helping whenever we can. Beverly Engel, in a 2008 Psychology Today article entitled What is Compassion and How Can It Improve My Life, explains, “I believe that having compassion for someone involves more than putting yourself in their place and genuinely wanting to understand or even help them. It involves beginning to have a totally different perspective when it comes to how you perceive others. For example, instead of assuming that the reason someone has done something that hurts you is because they are selfish or inconsiderate, assume instead that they had a good reason for doing it.” This way, we are more inclined to altruistic actions that help us maintain our sobriety, and we are better equipped to maintain our sense of serenity and peace of mind in recovery.
Your story can become one of serenity and redemption in sobriety. You can make the decision to seek help now and begin building a brighter future on the journey of recovery. Oceanfront Recovery, located in beautiful Laguna Beach, offers highly effective and innovative treatment in a modern, safe, and comfortable living environment so you are able to focus on your recovery and your path to a better life. For information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777