What Role Does Mental Sacrifice Play in Addiction Recovery?

As friends and family of a loved one who struggles with substance use, it's important to understand the mental sacrifices that occur when someone they love undergoes treatment. As friends and family, you will make your own mental sacrifices, and those struggling with substance use will find challenges to their mental well-being. Learning more about mental sacrifices helps you understand the value within yourself and how to observe the value within others.

The Toll of Substance Use

There are a lot of emotional and physical tolls addiction takes on those struggling with it. Substance use can take a toll on others, too, including friends and family. Navigating the waters of emotional and mental sacrifices is difficult for both parties. Additionally, the sacrifices can range from physical stress to mental degradation. If you have someone you love struggling with addiction, you may notice that you have a natural push to help or "save" them. However, when substance use moves past self-control, the emotional and mental sacrifices are amplified, twisted, and almost unrealistic, but they are still present.

Friends and family will sacrifice time, energy, focus, heart space, and more to encourage their loved ones to the recovery path. Mental sacrifices are a natural element of humanity. You care about your loved one who struggles with substance use, and you go to the extremes of sacrificing yourself in hopes to help save the ones you love.

The Role of Sacrifice

Sacrifice is part of addiction recovery because it relays a message to those undergoing treatment. You may notice your mental sacrifices make you feel split, and you do not feel like you used to before the situation. You may also feel overwhelmed or exhausted while trying to get your loved one to find the road to recovery. Mental sacrifices begin with compassion and care, but if they are not kept in check, your dignity and sanity may start to waver.

Within addiction recovery, individuals struggling with substance use will re-evaluate themselves, examine previous situations, and learn to listen and reflect because the chemicals are out of the body. Acknowledging the mental sacrifices on both sides within friends and family and the mental sacrifices of those struggling with substance use can further open up the door of enlightenment and self-awareness.

Sacrifice teaches you how to set boundaries, how to understand, and how to reestablish your well-being. On the flip side, mental sacrifices for someone who struggles with addiction are essential components of the recovery path, as they teach them how to let go of the codependency and find resources to begin new changes and connections.

Is Mental Sacrifice Rational?

Mental sacrifice falls on the line of virtue. When mental sacrifices are made, those who have made the mental sacrifice surrender a portion of their mindset. Sacrifice gives up a lesser value to obtain one that's greater. Therefore, the sacrifice is not simply a sacrifice but rather a physical or mental gain. However, the individual making a mental sacrifice must come to terms with their rational judgment to surrender to irrationality. 

Rational and irrational lines of thinking form around the demands and happiness of one's mindset. When you sacrifice your happiness, you are also sacrificing your desires. Is that irrational or rational when it comes to somebody you care about who has a substance use addiction? Irrational behavior is set in opposition to your survival.

Essentially, irrational thinking forces an acceptance that there is a battle between practicality and morality. Rational thinking forces you to choose between being virtuous or being happy, but in some situations, it does not allow you to be both. This can create conflict.

The Balance

Rational thinking balances sacrifice and morality. With rational lines of thinking, self-interest is part of the core, but what's more important to you? Is it the rational sacrifice that you know your loved one can get hope if you were there to help them? Or is it irrational thinking that pushes you in a direction for your survival with the hopes of your loved one finding help within their own valued judgment?

The difference between mental sacrifice within a rational or irrational mindset is based on your ability to speak. When silence is openly portrayed, sacrifices end up more destructive. By learning to surrender your value and understanding your judgment through objective-based standards, you will be led naturally towards a rational mindset.

Find Someone Who Understands Addiction and Mental Sacrifice

Speaking to someone who understands addiction and the recovery process can open up the door for that silence to be lifted and for your sacrifices to lead to healing. When you learn more about mental sacrifice and self-control and use mental health tool kits, you can express the desire to help those you care about without feeling split between rational and irrational judgments.

At NorthStar Transitions, our goal is to help not only the person struggling with substance use but also their friends and family. We are here to help you learn more about yourself and the process of how to address substance use while working toward recovery. As friends and family, the best ways to maintain your own well-being while getting closer to your loved ones are by offering them support, compassion, and knowledge. Sacrifices are a large part of addiction recovery because they teach you how to let go and learn compassion. As friends and family of those struggling with addiction, you also deserve to find healing and happiness. If you or someone you love seeks happiness and desires healing, but has no understanding of how to control your mental well-being, then speak with NorthStar Transitions’ healthcare professionals today to help guide you and lead you towards understanding the value you have. You can contact NorthStar Transitions at (303) 558-6400.

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