Turn Down The Volume on Negativity

When you get back from FHE’s Florida drug detox and intensive inpatient treatment, you may notice now, more than before your detoxification and rehabilitation that the world is full of “no”. Passive and active resistance pushes against you, telling you that you are powerless, that your situation is hopeless, that it’s out of your control. But in drug rehab you learned that none of that is true. You are the only one who gets to decide who you are and what you do – don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. There will be people in your life who doubt you, or even try to stop you as you make healthy changes toward sober living. Don’t let them halt your recovery.


Taking Action Against The Negativity In Your Life

As you recognize those individuals whose negative remarks or attitudes weigh on you, take their negativity as a sign that you need to reassess your relationship boundaries with them. You can start by confronting them about their negative messages and how they are affecting you. If you can’t help them understand what some of it’s like recovering from addictive substances, and they can’t help you understand their perspective, you need to consider parting ways. Negativity can be very powerful. It’s important to not allow it to take a hold on your life.


Knowing Negativity When You See It

Learning to hear negativity for what it is, is a skill that very few of us excel at. We are quick to internalize critique and assume the worst about ourselves, in fact this is the sort of habit that plagues our society.


When people are talking to you, about you, listen with a critical and discerning ear and ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are they presupposing about you?
  • What is the context of their assessment? Did you have a fallout with this person? Are they angry for some other reason and you’re feeling the brunt of it?
  • How are they affected? Are they feeling negative about something that affects them? Or are they just offering their opinion?
  • What is the context that they bring to the situation? Are they feeling negative for some reason that has nothing to do with you but is spilling over in your general direction? Or is it genuinely to do with your actions?
  • How well do you know them and how well do they know you?
  • How well does the person they are describing reflect the person you are on the inside?

It can be hard, especially with those we have known the longest, but if their perception of you does not match your vision for your true self, you need to recognize that and inform them. Maybe you’ve changed, maybe they’ve always been wrong about you in this way, it doesn’t matter – express to them that their view is not reflective of who you are or what you want for yourself. And then if you feel comfortable, empower them! Ask them to help you overcome this negative assertion. If they don’t believe you or refuse to help, you need to turn down the volume on that person. Maybe they are not someone you can share your rehabilitation journey with, or maybe you need to step away from them for a period, but find a way to protect the person you want to be from their naysaying. Your future self will thank you.

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