Skip to main content

When recovering from addictions, it may seem hard to find acceptance. Yet the main prayer of the 12-Step Program starts by asking the God of one’s understanding to “grant the serenity to accept” certain things. Read the first four lines of the prayer.

The Serenity Prayer

“God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference…”

Read the entire prayer at

What is Acceptance?

The Oxford Dictionary lists three different definitions for acceptance. But for acceptance in recovery purposes, it’s better to use Wikipedia’s definition.

Acceptance in human psychology is a person’s assent to the reality of a situation, recognizing a process or condition (often a negative or uncomfortable situation) without attempting to change it or protest. The concept is close in meaning to ‘acquiescence’, derived from the Latin ‘acquiēscere’ (to find rest in).[1]

There is a popular slogan in recovery groups. “Pain is inevitable; but suffering is optional.” It means that everyone will face pain in their lifetime. The difference in finding serenity during times of pain lies in accepting (finding rest in) those moments knowing the hardship will pass.

This can be seen in those working recovery programs in rehab. The work is hard. Those recovering from addictions endure the hardship of being without the substance of abuse. The key to lasting recovery is to endure the hardship without attempting to change the program to suit personal needs. One needs to be willing to work each step of the 12-Step Program to remove the pain; to find true acceptance in recovery.

What to Accept in Recovery?

There are many things the recovering addict will need to accept to regain peace. But there are four main areas the recovering addict must accept to keep their recovery.

  • There will be pain: There will be physical and emotional duress in recovery. When one can find acceptance in recovery that the pain will not last forever, one can be strengthened to continue sobriety.
  • Friends may leave: Friends who are still using may not want to be friends when one gets sober. They may feel judged or uncomfortable around someone not contributing to the addiction.
  • Rebuilding takes time: It will take time to rebuild damaged relationships. People are hurt by the addict’s mood swings and abuse while under the influence. Do not expect people to trust right away; they will need time to accept one’s recovery.
  • The past is the past: Accept what one did in the past and do not bringing it into the future or present. It takes time to make up for the past actions knowing that one is no longer that person. Self-acceptance in recovery means knowing that each day one is moving forward with the “courage to change”.

Where to Learn Acceptance in Recovery?

Learning to accept oneself while in recovery can be a challenge, but one worth taking. Ready to take that challenge? Call Northlake Recovery at (561)-770-6616. Northlake Recovery offers Inpatient, Outpatient, and Relapse Prevention Programs to help recovering addicts stay sober despite emotional or physical difficulties.

Leave a Reply