6 Things Women in Recovery Need to Stop Worrying About Now
Being a woman in recovery can bring with it a lot of unexpected things – both good and bad. Maybe you’ve gained a little more weight than you wanted to when you got clean, or maybe you’re afraid that you wasted too much time and you have to rush into finding a mate and settling down. Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s time to slow down and take a breath. Just so you know, there are plenty of others, just like you, who are worrying about the same things. Here are 6 things women in recovery need to stop worrying about now.
In general, women tend to worry about and even obsess over their appearance, whether it’s their body type, their weight, their hair, their clothes, etc. And a lot of this is due to the overt and subliminal messages we get from media and advertisement. Women in recovery need to stop worrying about how they look and focus on the things that will support them in their sobriety. Recovery from addiction requires us to always be vigilant. When we start worrying about the things that make us unhappy, we start dwelling on being unhappy. This is at odds with having gratitude for everything we have today, now that we’re clean and sober.
Even if you’re a woman in recovery with quite a bit of clean or sober time, worrying about dating and meeting “the right one” just isn’t healthy. This isn’t to say that you should swear off relationships altogether. What we’re saying is that worrying about dating and juggling multiple suitors isn’t supportive of your recovery. You need to put yourself first. Learn about yourself – such as what it is you really want in a partnership, what you will and won’t accept – and learn to love yourself before you go looking for love. If you haven’t done these things first, your next relationship will be doomed from the start.
#3. What others think
So much time is spent worrying on what others think of us or what/how we should think, according to others. You have your own mind, thoughts, and opinions. It’s okay to think how you do and it’s more than okay to be you – the perfect you and you already are. Besides, it’s such a waste of time and energy to worry about what others are thinking about us. You’d be surprised at how little other people are actually thinking about you. Just like you, everyone else has lots of other things on their mind. Believe me, you rank somewhere near the bottom of their list of “Things to Worry About.”
This may sound cliché but, age ain’t nothing but a number. And this is so true. Age is a social construct and really has nothing to do with who you are or how you feel. Take me, for instance. My go-to age in my head is 17 yet I’m exactly twice that now. It blows my mind sometimes to think that I’m in my mid-thirties (already??) but, it really has no bearing on my hobbies, interests, friends, relationships, career, and so on. It really doesn’t matter how many years you have been alive. What matters is what you are doing with that time. (See #6)
#5. Making Mistakes
A lot of people are afraid of failure – it’s pretty common. But, how do you know what you’re good at and what you like, if you never go out there and just try? Everyone makes mistakes and no one is perfect. True failure is not even trying in the first place or refusing to get up after falling down. Life is too short to let this imaginary fear hold you back. As women in recovery, we’ve already accomplished a hell of a lot. After all, we’ve been in a brutal fight for our life for who knows how long. It’s amazing we’re even here. Now go out and take life by the horns.
#6. Accomplishments (or what you perceive to be a lack thereof)
As mentioned in #5, being a woman in recovery is quite an accomplishment, in and of itself. So, take a moment to acknowledge yourself for being here and doing whatever it takes to stay here. In fact, do that on a daily basis – it’s a great way to remind yourself to be grateful. Now, maybe you haven’t accomplished some, or all, of the things that you thought you would by now. Perhaps as a kid you had some crazy-big dreams for the adult you. I bet that becoming an alcoholic or addict was not one of those dreams, though. No one plans this sort of thing. So, give yourself a break and then readjust your focus on those dreams or new ones – whatever floats your boat. We’re all on our own journey and wherever you are in this moment is perfect.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-777-9588.