Recovery from addiction and mental illness is already a complicated venture, and one’s mindset can play a crucial role in the success of one’s recovery program. It is essential to keep an open, optimistic mind about the future and avoid succumbing to a victimized mentality while moving through the recovery process. Not only can a victim mentality paralyze progress in recovery, but it is also an incredibly stressful state of mind that can introduce unwanted additional hurdles through the recovery process. Avoiding or overcoming this kind of mindset is crucial for continued progress and maintaining many of the life-changing decisions made in the name of recovery.
What is a Victim Mentality in Recovery?
Victim mentality is an intense state of mind that can inform how an individual views the world around them and their future and relationships. Those viewing the world with a victim mindset can feel like every element of the world is against them, or that negative things will always happen to them regardless of their effort or progress. This mentality can also manifest as the feeling that loved ones do not care about them or that their situation is hopeless. Not only do one’s relationships feel antagonistic, but the entire world and all passing events can feel like personal attacks to ensure that an individual is kept powerless. This feeling is incredibly damaging to one’s emotional well-being and can cause many hurdles in the recovery process.
While those suffering from a victim mentality may have developed the practice for any number of reasons, those in recovery and feeling victimized by addiction may see this mentality as inevitable or use it as a defense against one’s guilt or shame.
How Victim Mentality Affects Daily Life
This kind of mentality can have many adverse effects on one’s life or perception. Those suffering from a victim mentality may always feel on their guard or experience a great deal of frustration or resentment towards the world around them due to perceived wrongdoings. It may also be common to feel hopeless to change one’s situation and dismiss information or evidence that would otherwise improve their situation. Victim mentality can deteriorate trust and can lead to feelings of isolation.
All of these elements can make changing one’s situation extraordinarily difficult, and it can be hard to commit one’s self to make a change that a person already thinks is impossible or fruitless. Those suffering from victim mentality can feel as if the world and all of its adverse events are happening to them and that one’s actions are largely justified in the face of perceived threats or antagonistic behaviors.
How Victim Mentality Affects Recovery
It can be impossible to experience profound, lasting change without believing that it is possible in the first place. This mentality can trap a person into always looking into the past and the various ways one was wronged, rather than using this energy to look forward to futures unwritten. Victim mentality also creates a reactive mindset, especially if an individual expects bad things to happen to them. This can take away from more proactive plans to overcome some aspects of their addiction, leaving an individual ill-prepared to conquer difficult urges or realize their progress through a recovery program.
Feeling out of control of one’s own life can make it incredibly difficult to make proactive decisions and lead to further searching for solace or relief in drugs or alcohol. This mentality also makes an effort to remove blame or guilt from oneself, making overcoming past mistakes an impossible prospect. So long as this mentality remains unchallenged, overcoming addiction can be incredibly difficult.
Avoiding a Victim Mentality
Victim mentality must be addressed to see the full breadth of progress an individual can make towards their goals. First is addressing the pattern of victimization in one’s life, which can mean merely identifying that a person always feels wronged by others or expects adverse outcomes. However, recognizing this pattern also has to be accompanied by physical evidence of the possibility of positivity and change.
Realizing that change and positive outcomes are possible can start very small, such as learning that a person beat a tough level in a video game or lost five pounds by adhering to an exercise routine. Regardless of how large or small these events are, they are examples of an individual exercising agency over a situation that may have once felt impossible.
Victim mentality also involves dropping the idea of clearly defined protagonist-antagonist relationships. Relationships are a complicated balancing act that are inherently imperfect, and practicing role-playing through addiction recovery can illustrate the complex nature, or even altruistic actions of others, even if they are perceived as negative attacks at the time.
Overcoming a victim mentality can be complicated, but we at Avalon Malibu are ready to help you take the first step towards realizing and creating impactful, tangible change in your life. If you or a loved one are suffering from anxiety, depression, or addiction and are ready to begin changing, we can offer an array of programs to help you take that first step. Yoga, meditation, art therapy, music therapy, and physically active therapies are all employed in a beautiful, serene, open atmosphere with a supportive team of professionals and peers ready to change together. We can help you nurture your changing mindset by further individualizing your time with us based on your personal needs and recovery goals. For more information on the various ways that we can help you, or to speak to a caring, trained staff member about your unique situation, call Avalon Malibu today at (844) 857-5992.