How to Respond to Negative Criticism about Recovery

People just don’t understand what it is like. In most cases that is better for them but it doesn’t help you having to explain or justify yourself. First understand you don’t have to explain or justify your reasons for seeking residential treatment. The truth of the matter is, it simply isn’t anybody else’s business. However, with every criticism comes misinformation. You have an opportunity to advocate mental health recovery by speaking openly about your experience and what recovery means to you.


You Enjoy Being Sober And In Better Health

You aren’t complaining about your life in sobriety. Life is difficult and isn’t always fun. You’ve learned to live with life on life’s terms without having any need to pick up a drink or a drug. You live without fear of getting in trouble, getting arrested, waking up somewhere you don’t remember traveling to, overdosing, dying, hurting family members, and feeling sick. Addiction has brought you through the worst health and the worst of times. People may criticise you for not being able to drink or recreationally use drugs anymore. You have gone beyond the normal use of drugs and alcohol. Now, you have no need to go back. You enjoy being sober and in better health than you’ve ever been in your life.


You Like Your Sober Friends In Recovery

It isn’t uncommon for friends to feel threatened by your new life in sobriety. They might wonder if there is room in your life left for people who continue to drink and do drugs? Only you will get to decide who you want to detach from with love or who you want to be close. Out of their insecurity, they might criticise your new friends and lifestyle in recovery. You don’t have to respond aggressively or defensively. All you have to do is speak the simple truth: you like your sober friends in recovery.


You Aren’t Going To Keep Growing

As part of your ongoing recovery program, you are focused on confronting all areas of your life where you can improve. From codependency to anger management, now that the drugs and alcohol are gone, you can continue evolving through the various areas of character defects in which you would like to grow. These areas can act as a liability to your sobriety. Working on yourself isn’t something to be criticised, it is something to be admired. Friends who might feel that you are outgrowing them or that they should be growing more themselves might be intimidated by your commitment to self-growth. You have lived many years as the worst version of yourself- if it could get any worse, you don’t want to know. Instead, you are devoted to becoming the best version of yourself that you can be.


If nothing ever changed, the world would be short a beautiful supply of butterflies. This is our philosophy at Castle Craig Private Hospital. We seek to restore patients to optimum health of mind, body, and spirit. By renewing their sense of purpose and meaning in life, they are able to make the necessary changes in support of long-term abstinence. For information, call our 24 hour free confidential phone-line: 0808 256 5570. From outside the UK please call: +44 808 271 7500.

We Are Here to Help You

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