Perspective is the way we look at things. The perfect example of that is “Is the glass half-empty, or is the glass half-full?” This is such a perfect example because the answer is correct either way, depending on how you see it. So the question is, if you see things in a certain way, is it possible to see things differently? Well, the answer is yes, you can change your perspective.
But we are not speaking of changing perspective in just some generic way. We are considering how important it is to change our perspective to help us come into and stay in a lasting recovery. Maybe just admitting that you might be willing to change your perspective would be an important first step to recognize. Consider that your perspective is a major component in your addiction. Addict perspective is different from nonaddict perspective, and coming into recovery is a huge game changer. Automatically your perspective will undergo changes, as well as your priorities, as time goes by wonderfully as a nonuser. Be open and welcoming to changing your addict perspective.
It is a huge help in recovery to admit your perspective and priorities have been influenced by drugs and not in a way that is good for you. But what about changes in perspective that are not automatic? Well, now, this requires thought. If you have a way of looking at something (perspective), it is sometimes eye-opening to be willing to listen, really listen, to another person’s perspective on that issue, which is completely different from your own. That is why I mentioned that being open is critical to change.
Thinking about why you view a particular thing in a particular way can be very interesting. You might hold an opinion because it was the perspective of a person you were involved with. You might have a perspective on an issue due to misinformation or habit. Lots of reasons.
So asking yourself why you hold a certain view can sometimes be all you need to start to look at the same thing in a very different way. We are all influenced by the opinion and desires of others, and at times, we hold a view just to keep the peace or even because we are too lazy to form our own points of view. Sometimes our perspective is dictated by our attitude about something or someone. Before we can change anything at all, we have to become aware of where we are and where we might like to be. It is the same thing about our perspective.
Our attitude affects our perspective, as does our mood. When you are in recovery, you start to hold views that are different from your using views. Using views are not open to change. Recovery views are. You are on the road to changing your perspective because you are changing. The old you is not this new you. Not only is your perspective changing, but the perspective that others had of you is changing as well.
Spend a few moments actually interviewing yourself. Examine your beliefs. Why do you have them? Where did they come from? If they served you well in addiction, do they still serve you well? Be brutally honest with yourself. Ask why. It actually isn’t hard to change your perspective. All that is required is that you take a look at another possibility with an open mind. And also realize that some portion of your take on things is due to being addicted. There are many wonderful things about recovery, not the least of which is to remove all BS from your life and to start to embrace the reality that while you are in recovery, you are also recovering that part of yourself that was taken over by the substances you put into your body and your brain.
Yes, recovery for you and recovery of you!
Even people who are not addicts and who are not in recovery can and do have opinions that are incorrect; none of us are perfect. So changing your perspective is not only something you do because you are in recovery, but it is also something you do because you are human and open to the ideas, opinions, and beliefs of others.
As time goes by, you find that priorities get shuffled. Life changes and so do our opinions, our experiences, and our needs and desires.
Change of perspective is part of life. For those of you in recovery, change of perspective is crucial and especially in that most important first year. Sometimes the changes can be stunning. If you have used for a long time from a young age, the changes you will experience are sometimes awesome and sometimes frightening, but trust in yourself. Your perspective on these changes will determine how easy or difficult you decide this path is. Again, listen to others and decide how you will see things. Because you took the time to ask yourself why, your perspective will not be due to laziness or influenced by another, but it will instead be because you have made a decision to start thinking for yourself.