We are all guilty of the perfectionist mind space, but as you or your loved one find and then move into a life of recovery, it is proven to be very crucial to focus on progress, and ditch the perfectionism. Addiction is already such a shame-based disease, why add more insult to injury? Why strive to do it perfectly, when all that is required is progress? We are going to talk about how to shift our perspective from one of perfectionism, to one of progress, by learning that progress is more than enough. Whether you are the substance abuser, or it is your loved one, we all need to accept that there is no controlling of the addicted person. However there is a way to support the process of change, which in the end can be more powerful anyways. As the addict one of the biggest things strived for is to discipline; our minds to reside in the present moment, and not 2 years in the past or 15 years in the future. While perfecting this state of mind is impossible, watching yourself progress to a place of practicing this more and more is possible and extremely motivating to your recovery.
Let's take a look at the daunting fact that relapse is a part of recovery. This is not a recommendation to go out and relapse, and it may not be a part of everybody’s story. But for those that it is, it is not just negative, it can be a powerful experience for most and should not be feared like a plague. Fearing it to a point of obsession and perfectionism is not healthy, and not conducive to your growth in recovery. As the addict or the loved one in this disease we live with uncertainty, but not learning to embrace this uncertainty for what it is, leads to a constant state fear. Constant fear then leads to chronic stress. This chronic stress then leaves you or your loved ones anticipating pain, and waiting for something bad; which may or may not happen no matter what you do.
The process of achieving any life goal is never so much about the slips you take to get to the end result, but about all you learned on the journey there. This is because nobody is perfect or expected to be. Humans make mistakes, that’s life, how would we ever learn if we were just perfect? How would we have gotten to the places we have without slips and setbacks, we wouldn’t. It shouldn’t be different for addicts and alcoholics. It often takes a long time for the disease of addiction to completely take people down, so why would the recovery from it not take this time as well. Through understanding this process we can start to see that demanding too much of yourself or the person addicted does not breed success, but only unnecessary stress. Take steps to try and abandon perfectionism, especially in recovery. Be gentle with yourself or your loved one, celebrate forward motion no matter how small, and watch that motion grow.