How Your Perspective Can Help or Hinder Your Recovery

Written by: Megan Lawrence, contributing writer.  Follow more of her journey at or on her Instagram,  

Recovery would be an extremely daunting task if the individual was only able to see the world through a dark lens. It can be achieved, do not get me wrong, but it certainly makes the whole process more difficult to put us back on our own two feet. When we feed our minds with a negative way of viewing the world, it makes it that much easier to fall back into our negative way of living. In regard to my own recovery, my perspective is one of the most important ‘tools’ in my recovery toolbox.

I look at recovery like this: We can either choose to see what all has gone wrong in our lives and remain the victim, OR we can accept the circumstances that have occurred to us throughout our lives and use them to our advantage. I have traveled down both routes in this recovery journey of mine, and I have found that the latter option is what propels me in the right direction at a much quicker, and less painful, rate.

Every recovery journey is unique to the individual, as we are all having to come to terms with the reality of our relationships, our habits, and the suffering that remains once we remove the unhealthy coping mechanisms we used when not in recovery. I believe on a basic understanding; perspective is what allowed us to see that something needed to change. Because of this, it is perspective I have been using to help myself move forward in the understanding of this life that I lead.

It is too easy for me to play the victim, and when given the opportunity, it can be easy to feel the need to explain why I am the way I am or want to defend myself if someone may be judging me. I do my best to look at my struggles as things that happened FOR me and not AGAINST me. On the days where I am feeling my lowest, and my mental health is presenting me with more of a challenge, it is ultimately perspective that can get me through the worst of it. I am always having to remind myself that I am not my thoughts if I do not want to be, so when my perspective is covered by a dark cloud, I redirect my attention to the parts of my life that are worth focusing on. What a powerful realization to be had once we recognize that we can change our outlook just by changing our thoughts.

If it were not for my choice to live life in recovery, I am not sure I would have ever been able to see, feel, and experience the potential of my journey. Living in fear of what was to come, and trying to control all areas of my life, was leading me nowhere except into a state of defeat, hopelessness, and worry. This is not how life should be lived, and recovery has been able to fill me with new purpose and reason for the decisions I make. By changing my outlook on life, I can create goals that I want to accomplish, build strong relationships with people who want the best for me, and live my life unapologetically, and authentically myself. Changing my perspective, and looking towards the light versus remaining in the dark, is what steers me in the right direction; something I am grateful for every day.

Sometimes, asking ourselves a handful of questions is just the thing that can change our perspective while living in recovery. Ask yourself the below questions:

  • What do I want to accomplish in this life that I am given?
  • What sort of impact do I want to have on the people I come across?
  • Is there something in my life that is making recovery that much harder?
  • What other ‘tools’ can I add to my recovery toolbox?
  • Which relationships are helping or hindering my progress?
  • In what areas of my life am I avoiding looking at deeper?
  • Where am I holding resentment? Anger? Blame?

When we keep ourselves accountable for the mistakes we have made, bridges we have burned, and damage we may have caused, our perspective shifts automatically. We have to be able to look at the harder parts of our journey, see them for what they are, and get better through the process of that. When we ignore the faults in our ways, we are only doing ourselves an injustice because we cannot grow if we do not look at our situation from all angles.

So, go ahead. Challenge yourself to change your perspective. Make a note to yourself and tape it to the mirror in your bathroom if you must. When you make a conscious effort to change the way you look at something, you may be amazed when you discover just how much further you can get in this world by changing the lens you view it with.

The beautiful thing about perspective is that it can change. We are not stuck with the thoughts that run through our mind, but we can choose which thoughts we want to keep around us, and within us. What an awesome perspective to have, right?

Thank you for reading.

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